Tuesday, 3 February 2009

K is for Kenya

This is crazy and sad. I don’t think any person I know could even fathom such things.

According to Kenyan officials, a tanker carrying high-grade gasoline overturned around 7 p.m. on Saturday, near the town of Molo, in the Rift Valley.

As the gas began to gush out, word began to spread. Witnesses said villagers swarmed the downed truck, siphoning fuel into plastic jerrycans. Young men on motorcycles raced in from miles away. A handful of Kenyan police officers tried to drive them off, according to Kenyan officials, but the looters fought back. Witnesses said that one vindictive looter whom officers tried to push away lit a match and threw it into a pool of gasoline.

The explosion sent bodies flying into the woods, and it could be heard for miles. The Kenya Red Cross said Sunday afternoon that at least 113 people had been killed and another 178 severely burned. Several children with charred and blistered faces were airlifted by the Kenyan military to burn centers around the country.

After the fire, government officials picked through the charred wreckage and lamented the culture of looting.

“Kenyans are obsessed with free things,” said Hassan Noor Hassan, the Rift Valley provincial commissioner. “You shouldn’t rush to your death for 10 liters of fuel.”

And this is not at all an isolated incident. Read the rest of the story here.

No comments: