Kenyan man who risked his life to drive burning fuel tanker from petrol station gets only $100 reward


A father of two who risked his life and drove a burning fuel tanker away from a fuel station, exiting it in time before it exploded to save possibly dozens, has been given a $100 reward.

reports that the heroic driver, James Mugo Kangara, 50, was offloading fuel at the fuel station when he noticed fire coming from the lower part of the tanker. The tanker contained some 8,000 liters of fuel at the time of the explosion.

Kangara then tried to disconnect the fuel hose from the tanker, but was unsuccessful and so he decided that the only option left was to quickly drive the truck away from the station, reports

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After driving a distance safe enough to get off, he quickly jumped out of the vehicle and run for his life before the truck eventually burst out in flames, gripping the market area with fear as residents began to come out.

“I managed to drive the burning tanker away from the shops and residential houses. I managed to jump out just in time before the tanker burst into flames and was reduced to a shell,” said

The incident, which took place in the Embu County, received national attention as heaps of praises were directed at Kangara, prompting the County Commissioner to get in touch with him to thank him.

Galgallo Abdullahi, the County Commissioner, then presented an amount of Sh10,000 ($100) to him, applauding him for his bravery.

He also thanked him for putting his life on the line to save the community and the nation of properties that could have run into millions of Kenyan Shillings, reports .

“The driver and other Kenyans should follow his example and sacrifice for the betterment of others,” said Mr Abdullahi.

An emotional and grateful Kangara, in tears, thanked the County rep for the kind gesture, stressing that while performing that act of bravery, the least of things he expected was a reward.

“I would happen to me. I’m excited,” he said at the commissioner’s office.

Some Kenyans have been reacting to the story, calling for more to be done for the father of two.