Four people who were siphoning fuel from a tanker involved in an accident at Kamagut along the Eldoret-Webuye highway died after it exploded when police lobbed teargas to disperse a crowd that was fighting for the spoils.
The tanker lost control before ramming into an oncoming matatu that had passengers along the highway. Villagers saw an opportunity to siphon fuel oblivious to the risk they were exposed to at the time.
However, police officers arrived at the scene to protect the freight from the villagers who were illegally funneling the oil into their buckets and jerrycans.
The officers then engaged the insistent locals in running battles and occasionally lobbed teargas canisters in an attempt to disperse the crowd from the scene.
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In the resulting altercation, the tanker burst into flames and exposed the lives of the crowd to danger. Dark smoke clouded the scene as the onlookers who had gathered in the area scampered for safety.