A section of the Nakuru-Nairobi highway near Kenya Pipeline Company in Nakuru was closed Monday morning after tanker ferrying petroleum products was discovered to be leaking.
The vehicle had left Mombasa on Sunday and was heading to Kampala in Uganda.
According to Nakuru County Police Commander Stephen Matu, the lorry was carrying 45,000 litres of super petrol.
“It was about 10am when the truck’s driver realised that the vehicle had problem and he was advised to put it aside. The traffic police around this area acted fast enough and secured the place,” the police boss.
He added that the protected area covered up to three kilometres.
“The restricted place here is one and-half-kilometres toward Nakuru town and the same distance as you head to Nairobi,” he said.
Mr Matu has warned residents of Pipeline, Barnabas and Mwariki to keep away from the scene so as to give authorities time to clear the road.
Some residents had been seen walking towards the scene with jerricans and funnels ready to collect the leaking fuel.
The leaking tank was identified and was said to be holding 17,000 litres of super petrol.
Motorists heading to Nairobi were diverted through Mwaki Petrol Station while those coming from Naivasha diverted at The Stem Hotel and re-joined the Nakuru highway at Section 58.
Shops and all the businesses operating around the area were closed as police officers ordered owners to stay away.
Ms Pricilla Waithaka, a shop attendant, said she quickly closed her shop as she feared for her life in case a fire broke out.
“Upon hearing what was going on just a few metres from my shop, I could not wait to be told by the police that I was supposed to vacate the place. I acted fast,” she said, adding that she lost a relative in thee 2009 Sachangwan fuel tanker fire tragedy.
“It is better to be safe rather than defy the security order in the name of chasing money from my business,” Mr John Kigen, another businessman in Pipeline said.
The incident comes just two days after 71 people were killed in a petroleum tanker fire in Morogoro, Tanzania.