Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Train Carrying 250,000 Liters of Fuel Derails on Kenyan Coast

Energy

A cargo train carrying 250,000 liters (66,000 gallons) of super petroleum, or unleaded gasoline, derailed off its tracks after taking a sharp turn along Kenya's eastern coast, forcing the closure of a major highway over the weekend, according to local reports.

The accident occurred early Sunday in Kibarani in Mombasa County, and prompted authorities to completely close off Makupa Causeway, the main link between the mainland and Mombasa Island, fearing a fire would break out after spillage of the highly flammable liquid, The Star, Kenya reported.


Thousands of commuters were left stranded until the highway was reopened Monday after experts determined the area was safe. No injuries were reported and the exact cause of the derailment is not yet determined.

The 16-wagon Kenya Railways train was headed towards Nairobi and was carrying fuel for Vivo Energy.

Maritime and Shipping Affairs Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu said about 3,000 liters (790 gallons) leaked from the impacted wagons. Authorities have contained the fuel with foam and coolant, she said.

"The leakage came from two wagons, one of them was profuse. Luckily enough, no oil was spilled into the ocean," Karigithu said, as quoted by The Star, Kenya.

Karigithu added that experts are working to ensure the fuel does not enter the ocean and affect the marine system.

However, a number of conflicting reports, including one published from Reuters on Monday, suggested that some cargo plunged into the Indian Ocean. Mombasa police chief Johnstone Ipara told the news service a team of engineers and other local experts were working Monday to recover five train wagons that submerged in the ocean.

A witness also told Reuters the water that the wagons submerged into was slick with a substance that appeared to be a petroleum product.

But Karigithu insisted in a People Daily report posted Monday that the fuel has not reached the ocean.

"Contrary to reports, not a drop has spilled into the ocean, the ocean is about 500 meters from scene of derailment and we are managing the situation well. Our main priority now is to secure the lives of Kenyans first, the cause of the derailment will be established later," she said.

A seagull flies in front of the Rampion offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom. Neil / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

A key part of the United States' clean energy transition has started to take shape, but you may need to squint to see it. About 2,000 wind turbines could be built far offshore, in federal waters off the Atlantic Coast, in the next 10 years. And more are expected.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Frank La Sorte and Kyle Horton

Millions of birds travel between their breeding and wintering grounds during spring and autumn migration, creating one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world. These journeys often span incredible distances. For example, the Blackpoll warbler, which weighs less than half an ounce, may travel up to 1,500 miles between its nesting grounds in Canada and its wintering grounds in the Caribbean and South America.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Kevin Maillefer / Unsplash

By Lynne Peeples

Editor's note: This story is part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation. Read the launch story, "Thirsting for Solutions," here.

In late September 2020, officials in Wrangell, Alaska, warned residents who were elderly, pregnant or had health problems to avoid drinking the city's tap water — unless they could filter it on their own.

Read More Show Less
Eat Just's cell-based chicken nugget is now served at Singapore restaurant 1880. Eat Just, Inc.

At a time of impending global food scarcity, cell-based meats and seafood have been heralded as the future of food.

Read More Show Less
New Zealand sea lions are an endangered species and one of the rarest species of sea lions in the world. Art Wolfe / Photodisc / Getty Images

One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.

Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less