The death toll from the Malanga tanker fire tragedy has hit 20 after another patient succumbed to injuries at the Siaya county referral hospital on Thursday. Siaya County Executive Committee member for health Dismas Wakla who confirmed the death said that the latest victim had suffered 70% burns on his body.
The development comes as Siaya woman representative, Dr. Christine Ombaka joined other local leaders in calling for support to the local referral hospital to enable it to offer the best medical care to fire victims. Ombaka who visited the victims said that some basic equipment for the management of severe burns was lacking at the hospital, hence the need for urgent intervention.
She said the facility lacked heaters, gloves and syringes which were urgently required at the facility to cater for the patients.
“Apart from these, more support will be required by the victims who will have to undergo corrective surgery,” said the county Member of Parliament.
Ombaka at the same time called on Kenyans to learn from such disasters and avoid rushing towards accident scenes with the aim of looting and siphoning flammable cargo. Siaya county referral hospital medical superintendent Dr Liech Adoyo said the medical staff were working round the clock to manage the cases.
“We are giving the best possible care and are optimistic that we will get many of them back home to lead their lives,” said the medical superintendent.
He thanked the county government of Siaya and the local leaders for their support.
The victims died while siphoning fuel after a petrol tanker overturned and exploded in Malanga area on the Kisumu-Busia highway on Saturday night. Twelve of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition.
According to eyewitnesses, the tanker which was transporting petrol from Kisumu to Uganda hit a milk transporting lorry that was heading in the opposite direction before veering off the road and rolled before landing near the school fence.
“I heard a blast at night, when I rushed here to find out what had transpired, I met people dashing with cries for help. Most of them were on fire. I saw men, women and children running for their lives. Many were burnt beyond recognition,” one of the eyewitnesses recounted
Villagers who rushed to the scene started siphoning fuel that was flowing from the tanker and as a scramble ensued, the tanker exploded.
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