Residents of Mbayani Township in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre, Wednesday morning scooped spilling soya bean crude oil after a tanker carrying 26 130 litres tipped to one side.
The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has, however, warned that people consuming the oil would be risking their lives because it needs to be purified to be certified fit for consumption.
The tanker fell on its side as the driver of the truck was negotiating a corner near the Kandodo Cornershop Roundabout near Puma Kabula Service Station.
Driver of the tanker, Lemio Mwanandiye, said the oil was meant for delivery to Oil and Protein Company (OPC) at Makata Industrial Area. He had loaded the oil at Beira Port in Mozambique.
“A lot of people came here with all types of containers. They scooped out the oil at will until the police arrived an hour later,” said Mwanandiye.
Children who were cordoned off the accident spot by police were spotted carrying containers ranging from bottles to jerry cans while others carried buckets.
The spilled oil rendered the road slippery for a stretch of about 500 metres. A motor cyclist slid as he approached the roundabout, but was not injured.
MBS director general Davlin Chokazinga warned the people who scooped the oil against consuming it, saying it has many chemicals which are not good for human consumption.
“Once consumed, such chemicals tend to affect the body and the body may start malfunctioning,” said Chokazinga.
He said MBS will engage the police to conduct an inspection aimed at confiscating the crude oil.
Meanwhile, another articulated truck also fell on its side at Chichiri Roundabout at about 10 pm on Tuesday.