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Traffic nightmare as tanker overturns

City motorists using Mombasa road spent the better part of Thursday morning stuck in traffic after a tanker carrying crude material for manufacturing cooking oil overturned at the General Motors junction blocking all the lanes heading to the city centre.

Commuters were forced to walk from Cabanas to the General Motors turnoff to board the public service vehicles.

The scene of the accident along Mombasa road, near General Motors, where a tanker overturned on January 23, 2014 blocking traffic heading to the city center. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
The scene of the accident along Mombasa road, near General Motors, where a tanker overturned on January 23, 2014 blocking traffic heading to the city center. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE

Motorists overlapped and used the wrong side of the road to evade the wreckage that lay on the road creating a snarl-up that stretched till Capital Centre on the outbound traffic headed to the airport.

The officer in charge of traffic in Nairobi County Edward Mwamburi said that the accident occurred at around 4am when the driver of the tanker lost control after his brakes failed.

“We have tried managing the situation by redirecting traffic to other routes. We have officers on the grounds who are advising motorists to use alternative routes like the Eastern bypass and Outering road,” he said.

Mr Mwamburi said that they deployed cranes to the scene to remove the trailer and, later, the county council fire engines will be called in to clean up the road that was covered in the spilled oil.

A crowd of bystanders scrambled to scoop the spilt oil from the tanker as police watched helplessly.

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Women scoop the spillage from the tanker that overturned on Mombasa road on January 23, 2014. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE

The morning traffic jam along Mombasa road prompted Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to issue a warning to travelers with scheduled flights at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to start their journey early.

“We wish to advise all JKIA users traveling this morning to start their journey early enough to beat the traffic on MSA road,” KAA announced on its Twitter handle.

The incident resulted in huge snarl up in alternative roads as motorists avoided Mombasa road.

The most affected roads were the Eastern bypass, Outering road, Jogoo road and Enterprise road in industrial area where over lappers made it difficult for a smooth traffic flow.