Kenya: Siaya Tanker Tragedy - Death Toll Hits 19 as Governor Rasanga, Medics Appeal for Help

Two more survivors of the Siaya tanker tragedy succumbed to their injuries on Wednesday, raising the toll to 19, as local leaders appealed for urgent medical support.

The patients who lost their battle for life had been admitted to Siaya County Referral Hospital with severe burns.

Appealing for help, Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga said 20 people were still fighting for their lives at Siaya County Referral Hospital, five at Yala Sub-County Hospital and one at Inuka Hospital.

"I am appealing for support from other stakeholders because we are overstretched. The county government is unable to sustain the treatment of the 20 because of the severity of the burns which need sophisticated specialised care," he said.

"We seriously need support from bodies through funding and professionals who can lend a hand to save lives."

Local leaders and medical professionals echoed the governor's appeal, saying the situation is dire.

"We have many people who have sustained 80 per cent burns yet the only facilities that can treat such is Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. We call on the government to assist the victims," said Dr George Midiwo, a medical practitioner.

The 19 were among dozens of people who were burned to bones and ashes last Saturday after a fuel tanker exploded as they siphoned petrol at Malanga area on Kisumu-Busia road.

The tanker that was heading to Busia from Kisumu overturned after a head-on collision with a lorry ferrying milk to the lake-side city.

Thirteen people died were burned to death at the scene of the night horror as others breathed their last on their way to or in hospitals.

Today, it emerged that the families of the 13 will have to wait for two more weeks for DNA results to identify the bodies.

Mr Rasanga said six bodies collected at the scene were for male victims while seven were female.

"The processing of the samples will begin on July 21, and the results should be out in two weeks' time," he said.

Meanwhile, Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo on Wednesday gave the affected families Sh200,000 to prepare for the burials.

"I have given the families at least Sh10,000 each and once all the arrangements are done, my office will provide coffin boxes for burial," he said.

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