A locomotive crew on Sunday morning survived an accident in which their train derailed at Kibwezi Town, Makueni County overturning six cars, one of them a fuel tanker.
Oblivious of the inherent danger, Kibwezi residents armed with plastic jerricans scrambled for fuel from the overturned tanker before police arrived and cordoned off the accident scene.
Witnesses said that they heard a loud bang and on arrival at the scene found several cars already scattered in the area, with wheel axles strewn in bushes metres away from the scene.
“The loud bang caused by the derailing cars that had cargo containers and a diesel tanker on them drew curious onlookers, and soon droves of residents arrived armed with jerricans,” said Mr Emmanuel Mwangata, a resident.
Kibwezi OCPD Leonard Kimaiyo said that no one was injured in the mid-morning accident that occurred at a curved section of the railway line.
Said Mr Kimaiyo: “None of the containers opened to expose its cargo, but we have stopped residents from scooping fuel from the tanker.”
He attributed the rare accident to a technical problem “either with the railway line or with the locomotive itself.”
He said that police were working hand in hand with Kenya Railways Corporation to establish the cause of the accident and clear the railway line.