Fire From Gas Explosion In Nairobi Kills Two People And Injures Hundreds

At least two people were killed and more than two hundred injured after a lorry carrying gas exploded in south-east Nairobi in Kenya.

A government spokesperson said that a lorry exploded at around 11.30pm local time in Embakasi district, Nairobi “igniting a huge ball of fire”.

The explosion resulted in damage to housing, businesses, and vehicles. The fire is believed to have engulfed apartment buildings.

Earlier, government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura said gas cylinders were being refilled when the fire broke out in the gas plant at Mradi village, Embakasi in Nairobi.

In an update posted to X/Twitter, Mr Mwaura said: “A flying gas cylinder hit Oriental Godown, burning down the said godown which deals with garments & textiles. Consequently, the inferno further damaged several vehicles and commercial properties, including many small and medium-sized businesses. Sadly, residential houses in the neighbourhood also caught fire, with a good number of residents still inside as it was late at night.”

Members of the public were asked to refrain from visiting the site of the explosion in Embakasi district.

Mr Mwaura said: “Members of the public are advised to avoid the area as rescue operations are underway including fire engines being deployed to the area.”

Firefighters and emergency services are at the scene and the number of casualties is expected to go up.

“The scene has now been secured and a command center is now in place to help coordinate rescue operations and other intervention efforts,” the spokesperson said.

According to the Kenya Red Cross, around 100 households around the site of the fire were asked to evacuate at Mradi village.

At least 222 have been reportedly injured and were taken to different hospitals. Mr Mwaura said: “21 at the Kenyatta National Hospital, 160 at Mama Lucy General Hospital, 19 at Mbagathi Hospital, 14 at Modern Komarock Hospital, and 8 at Nairobi West Hospital.”

Photos and videos from the site showed huge flames and smoke billowing in the sky even as firefighters tried to contain the blaze.

An unidentified eyewitness told Nation Africa: “Huge explosions, huge fireballs. People screaming and running everywhere for fear of more explosions. Power cuts, some people driving out of the estate. We can hear sirens now. The fire is in a warehouse next to an estate called Skyline and an informal settlement called Mradi [sic].”

Boniface Sifuna, another eyewitness told Reuters: “I got burnt by an exploding gas canister as I was trying to escape.”

He continued: “It exploded right in front of me and the impact knocked me down and the flames engulfed me. I am lucky that I was strong enough to get away.”

Officials say the number of dead is expected to rise.

Source: The Independent

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