Many people were also injured when the overturned tanker truck exploded in western Kenya, when the crowd gathered to collect the spilled fuel.

The police said that an overturned oil tanker in western Kenya exploded and the crowd gathered to collect the spilled fuel, killing 13 people and causing serious burns.

Late Saturday, the fuel truck collided with another vehicle and overturned on the busy highway between Kisumu and Uganda near Malanga, about 315 kilometers (195 miles) northwest of Nairobi.

Onlookers rushed to the scene with plastic buckets, but the cargo exploded, engulfing people around in a fireball.

On Sunday, local police chief Charles Chacha of Siaia County, where the accident occurred, said: “When they scooped up the flowing fuel, it burned.”

“We counted twelve bodies at the scene. Another person died in the hospital from injuries.”

Two hours later, firefighters rushed to the scene to put out the fire, while the people injured in the explosion were taken to the hospital.

“Many other people were taken to the hospital with severe burns, including young children,” Cha said.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

A picture broadcast by the Kenyan media showed a burning oil tanker illuminating the night sky, and the next morning people stared at the twisted, smoldering wreckage.

In Kenya and wider East Africa, fatal fuel truck accidents on dangerous roads are not uncommon.

Although the authorities warned of the danger of siphoning after hundreds of deaths in the previous incident, many Kenyans continued to do so because they were under the pressure of poverty.

In 2009, at least 120 people were killed after a large group of people rushed into an overturned oil tanker, and then the oil tanker exploded. But poor families say they have no choice: rising food and fuel prices mean that many people cannot feed their children.


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