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Mourners left in shock after hearse bursts into flames

Mourners were on Thursday left shaken when a hearse carrying the body of a man burst into flames at Kimicha village in Kirinyaga County.

The body of the man, who died last week in Ngong, was being ferried from Nairobi to Kerugoya area for burial when the incident happened.

According to Benson Munyua, the driver of the hearse, the journey from the city went smoothly but on arrival at the village, he heard the vehicle backfiring before a huge fire emanated from under the vehicle spread out.

“When I saw the fire I stopped the vehicle and hurriedly alighted,” he said.

Mr Munyua said he does not know what caused the fire which reduced the vehicle to a shell.

“It is a mysterious fire. The hearse was extensively damaged and it can’t move,” said Mr Munyua.

As the hearse went up in flames, the mourners who were driving at the back jumped out and fled in panic.

However, residents and the police arrived at the scene and fought the fire for hours and managed to remove the casket with the body.

Police officers and residents of Kimicha village in Kirinyaga County inspect a hearse that was burnt to a shell while transporting a body for burial. PHOTO | COURTESY
Police officers and residents of Kimicha village in Kirinyaga County inspect a hearse that was burnt to a shell while transporting a body for burial. PHOTO | COURTESY

Later, the mourners regrouped and transferred the casket to another vehicle and continued with the journey.

The residents said were it not for their quick intervention, the body of the deceased would have been burnt.

“We used soil and water to fight the raging inferno and we managed to put it out and remove the coffin containing the remains of the deceased,” said one of the residents.

When the mourners left, the driver and the police remained behind guarding the burnt hearse.