Three medical researchers escaped death narrowly when a car they were travelling in caught fire while on motion in Mwingi on Sunday evening.
The three Kenya Medical Research Institute researchers and their driver were heading to Ijara from Nairobi when the accident occurred at Mutyangombe in Mwingi East.
"We stopped at Mwingi town for lunch before proceeding with our journey only to encounter this nasty incident," said Reuben Lugale, one of the researchers.
Lugale said the vehicle was moving at a slow speed as they approached Mutwangombe. He said by-standers alerted them of the smoke that was billowing from the back of the car.
The researcher said the car had two gas cylinders, one jerrican of petrol and another one of diesel which burst into flames. "It's a new car but it has been reduced to a shell. We had carried a lot of hospital equipment and our personal belongings but we only managed to salvage three bags and three microscopes," said Lugale.
He said the people who rushed to their rescue looted their belongings which included foodstuff. A witness, Syumbua Mwanza, said the occupants of the car could have burnt to death if it was not for the by-standers.
"The driver thought we wanted to hike a lift and did not stop initially. We kept on shouting until he stopped a few meters ahead of us," said Mwanza.
Mwingi traffic police boss Benard Ochwada said they have launched investigations into the accident. Ochwada asked drivers to follow the new traffic rules to avoid arrest.