GICUMBI— Scores of passengers were on Monday stranded after a fuel transit truck carrying jet fuel overturned at Kigoma village along Gatuna Kigali highway, blocking other vehicles for hours.
The trailer Reg. RAA 279C is said to have lost control after brakes failure and spilled fuel along the road after overturning.
An eye witness who gave his name only as David said police in Gicumbi deployed officers and local defence personnel to cordon off the area, fearing residents would rush to siphon the spilling fuel.
Vehicles and pedestrians heading towards the two opposite directions were stopped from closely approaching the scene of the accident by security personnel. Eye witnesses said that security cordon created a jam along the road.
Passengers aboard a Kigali bound Onatracom bus from Kampala which arrived at the scene at about 4.00pm waited for hours after the road was blocked.
Another bus which was ordered from Kigali to pick the stranded passengers arrived late at night at the scene of the accident.
Upon its arrival some of the passengers started trading insults with the bus operators as they complained about the cold weather conditions of the area.
Our sources revealed that the driver of the truck swayed to the hilly side of the road in a desperate attempt to stop the truck after experiencing brake failure.
“Upon reaching on top of the steepy hill, the truck slid backwards after which it overturned blocking the entire highway,” said the source.
Commenting on the accident, the Gicumbi District Police Commander, Supt Albert Ndatsikira told The New Times that the owner of the truck Egide Gatera, a Kigali-based business tycoon was later alerted about the accident whereupon he sent a tow truck.
“The brake down truck arrived at around 8.00 pm and cleared the fuel truck off the road to give way to other vehicles that had been stranded for several hours,” said Ndatsikira.
Police added that the driver of the ill-fated truck escaped unhurt while the turn boy sustained minor injuries and was taken to Kigali for treatment.
By press time, the fuel truck was still lying by the road side with fuel still oozing from its tank.