Kenya: disaster reveals desperation

From the BBC News, Feb. 1:

Scores killed in Kenya oil fire
At least 111 people have died in Kenya after an overturned petrol tanker caught fire on a highway and exploded. Reports say the fire broke out after hundreds of people gathered to collect spilled fuel.

About 200 people have also been injured in the blaze, in the town of Molo. Officials say the death toll may rise.

The cause of the fire is not clear. Some reports said it was caused by a lit cigarette, but others said it had been started deliberately.

One woman at the scene said her two sons were among the several hundred people who had run to collect petrol after the tanker crashed and she had not been able to find them.

“I tried to stop them but they did not listen, they told me everyone is going there for the free fuel,” she told Reuters.

A survivor of the fire said he had rushed to the scene to collect fuel when he had heard of the accident.

“I had taken the first jerrycan back to my home and when I came back for the second, I heard an explosion and it was like we all caught fire, I don’t even know how I got here,” Michael Kerich told AFP news agency at a hospital in Nakuru…

The incident comes just days after a devastating fire at a supermarket in the Kenyan capital Nairobi killed at least 25 people.

Kenyan media also criticised the emergency response to that disaster, calling it slow and inadequate.

See our last post on Kenya.