Panic as fuel tanker bursts into flames in Mbeere

A fireman fights the blaze at Rwika in Mbeere on September 5. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Fear gripped Rwika village in Mbeere, Embu County on Thursday when a fuel tanker burst into flames.

Residents scampered to safety as fire consumed the tanker.

Mr James Mugo, the tanker’s driver, drove the vehicle, which was engulfed by fire, to a nearby forest to avoid a disaster. He escaped unhurt.

The tanker was emptying fuel at a local petrol station when Mr Mugo noticed a thick smoke coming from the vehicle.

Upon sensing danger, he drove towards the forest before jumping out of the vehicle.

As fire consumed the vehicle, panic-stricken residents fled in different directions to avoid being hurt.

It took the intervention of the Embu County rescue team to put out the inferno. 

The residents said the lorry, which was carrying 8000 litres of fuel, could have killed scores of people had the driver not taken the bold step.

 Mr Kingsford Nyagah, a police officer, said he arrived at the scene only to find the tanker completely destroyed.

And area police boss Ahmed Mohammed said investigations have already commenced to establish the cause of the fire.

Mr Nyagah praised the driver for his courage.