One man died and four others hospitalised after consuming an unknown chemical in Nyando, Kisumu county.
The five reportedly stole the chemical they thought was alcohol from a stationary lorry that had stalled around Masogo in Nyando Sub-county. The deceased, Maurice Ouko, collapsed moments after consuming the substance, Standard reports.
On Saturday, police officers launched a manhunt for the lorry driver who reportedly drove off after the incident.
Area Deputy Commissioner Eric Wanyonyi said the driver had sought shelter at a nearby home where he spent the night after the lorry got stuck in the mud.
Witnesses reported that some locals raided the lorry in the middle of the night, stole and drank the chemical which they believed was alcohol.
“Some people raided the lorry at night and stole the substance which was packed in 20-litre jerry cans as and consumed it,” he said.
The remaining four suspects were rushed to Ahero Sub-County Hospital where they were stabilised.
Detectives conducted a thorough search on the village and recovered 90 litres of the substance which according to the deputy commissioner were taken to a government chemist for further analysis.
“This action was taken since we could not establish the kind of substance it was,” he said.
Commissioner Wanyonyi cautioned members of the public against stealing and drinking substances they don’t know, noting that it could have led to many deaths.
“This habit of stealing and consuming unknown things should stop. It has placed and could place more lives in danger,” he warned.