Thousands of litres of fuel up in smoke as tanker catches fire


Eveline de Klerk

Walvis Bay-The Namibian Police in the Erongo Region are investigating the probable cause of a mysterious fire that resulted in thousands of dollars’ worth of fuel and fish burning to ashes.
Disaster struck on Friday night when a fully loaded fuel truck from Grinrod Fuel Logistics, as well as two Zambian registered fridge trucks, went up in flames on the side of the road near the western exit from Usakos.

The fuel truck driver, Lisias Amukushu, sustained serious burn wounds, while one trucker escaped unharmed. The other one apparently disappeared from the scene, while rescue workers battled for hours to keep other motorists from harm’s way.

Speculation was rife over the weekend at the coast that fuel theft could have been the cause of the fire. However, the crime investigations coordinator in Erongo Region, Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu, yesterday said the police had not ruled out any possibilities, as investigations were still ongoing.

According to Iikuyu, the three trucks, which were parked next to each other across the road from the Shell Service station on the western outskirts of Usakos, unexplainably caught fire.

“The fuel truck had about 44,680 litres of fuel in its tank when the fire broke out and was indeed a danger to other motorists,” he said.

Iikuyu said one of the fridge trucks was seen parked at the same spot for about four days prior to the incident. “It was joined on Friday evening by the fuel tanker that was en route to Windhoek,” he said.

“Shortly after the fuel tanker arrived, the other fridge truck loaded with fish pulled in next to the two trucks and several minutes later the fire started,” he noted.

The driver of the fuel truck was taken to Usakos State Hospital and was later transferred to Windhoek State Hospital, where his condition was reported to be stable.


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