The Star (Nairobi)

8 June 2012

Kenya: Grader Bursts KPC Pipeline

The KENYA Pipeline Company lost thousands of super petrol on Thursday evening after a government grader broke one of its oil pipes at Three Farm in Nakuru. The rader burst the pipe while constructing an access road to Njoro from Ngata bridge. This caused a massive spillage which flowed to Ngata centre, two kilometres away.

In cooperation with the regular and administration police from the Nakuru Central police station, KPC took five hours to contain the situation as they dug ground troughs on the lower side of the spillage to collect the oil which they channeled into their four tankers. Three fire engines including one from KPC, Nakuru Municipal Council and Comply were on standby in case of any explosion.

The area district and provincial administration officers visited the scene to man the area. KPC officers used soil to avert the flow of oil downstream as the police contained the milling crowd. Vehicles coming from the Western region were forced to use the Kabarak road to Nakuru town while those heading to Western had to use Njoro route.

The incident caused a traffic snarl-up in Nakuru town . "We were not informed of any road construction along our oil channel in this area as required," Nakuru KPLC depot manager Zavian Baraza said at the scene of the incident. He however said they are still gathering information on the grader and the contractor involved in the bursting of the pipe. As soon as the driver of the grader realized that he had burst the pipe,he abandoned it and took off.

Baraza said they are yet to establish the value or the quantity of the super petrol that was lost during the heavy leakage. "We only received information from one of the good samaritan that our pipe had been tampered with in the area at around 4pm.We were not aware of any such construction near our channels as it expected from any contractor involved in the work," noted Baraza.

Earlier at the scene of the spillage,the area District Officer,Moses Motari had observed that the construction was undertaken by the Kenya Rural Roads Authority. To avert any explosion during the night,police forces from Kenya Army,General Service Unit,Flying Squad and National Youth Service camped at the grounds while four more fire engines were deployed into the scene. By Friday morning the transport operations along the route which connects the Nakuru-Eldoret highway had returned.

However,the DC and the area police boss Johnston Ipara are still cautioning the residents of any flammable activities around or near the spillage. "The people around here must be very cautious of their doings because the are still the remainings of the petrol in the drain and at the road that was under construction. They should at all cost avoid lighting fire near the place," warned the Rongai DC,Moses Motari.

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