Two fuel tankers burnt to ashes

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

‘‘There was a fire in­ci­dent recorded in Mpika on Satur­day in­volv­ing two fuel tankers be­long­ing to Mount Meru Petroleum loaded with fuel com­ing from Tan­za­nia.’’

Two fuel tankers be­long­ing to Mount Meru Petroleum have been burnt to ashes in Mpika af­ter fuel si­phoned from one of the tankers went up in flames be­cause of fire from a nearby bra­zier. The Tan­za­nian driv­ers of the two trucks are re­port­edly on the run. The tankers were be­lieved to be car­ry­ing 35,000 litres of fuel. Muchinga Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Chola Katanga said the fire in­ci­dent started on Satur­day around 18:30 hours at Muchinga Tav­ern near Chin­sali Sta­tion in Chi­t­u­lika area of Mpika where the fuel tankers were parked. Ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tions so far, the fire came from the bra­zier that was near fuel be­lieved to have been si­phoned from the tanker,’’ Mr Katanga said Mr Katanga said the fire ini­tially gut­ted one truck and later spread to the other one caus­ing on­look­ers to scam­per in all di­rec­tions for safety. Mr Katanga said a nearby shop be­long­ing to Mr Mwanja was also burnt to ashes and that prop­erty whose value is yet to be es­tab­lished was lost to the in­ferno. Mr Katanga said no life was lost and that the driv­ers of the two tankers who are be­lieved to be Tan­za­ni­ans are on the run. Mean­while, Mpika res­i­dents have ap­pealed to the lo­cal au­thor­ity to con­sider con­struct­ing a park­ing bay for truck­ers to avoid ac­ci­dents. Mr Steven Mu­lenda Mu­tale said the fire in­ci­dent could not have af­fected other shops if there was a sep­a­rate park­ing bay for trucks, tankers and other heavy duty ve­hi­cles. That fire in­ci­dent should be a wakeup call for Mpika District coun­cil to take strong mea­sures to pro­tect the com­mu­nity,’’ he said. And ZANIS re­ports that Muchinga Prov­ince Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary Job­bicks Kalumba re­vealed that the Mpika Town Coun­cil Fire Ten­ders tried to put out the fire with as­sis­tance from Tan­za­nia Zam­bia Mafuta Pipe­line but to no avail.

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