Tragedy in Nairobi

Tragedy in Nairobi: Gas Blast Leaves Three Dead, Hundreds Injured

A massive gas explosion ripped through Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, on Friday night, leaving a trail of devastation. At least three people have lost their lives, and nearly 300 are injured, painting a grim picture of the incident’s impact.

The tragedy unfolded in Embakasi district around 11:30 PM local time, when a lorry transporting gas exploded, igniting a “huge ball of fire,” according to a government spokesperson. Initial reports suggesting the blast occurred at a gas plant have been revised.

The inferno engulfed nearby housing, businesses, and vehicles, as seen in harrowing videos showing towering flames leaping close to apartment buildings. The Kenya Red Cross reports transporting 271 individuals to hospitals for treatment, with an additional 27 receiving on-site medical attention.

Authorities initially confirmed one fatality, but Embakasi police chief Wesley Kimeto later reported two more deaths, including a child. He warned that the toll could rise further as rescue efforts continue.

Isaac Mwaura Mwaura, a government spokesperson, described the harrowing scene: “The fireball spread widely, igniting a garments and textiles warehouse and several vehicles and businesses. Sadly, residential houses also caught fire, with many residents still inside due to the late hour.”

Witnesses recounted feeling tremors following the explosion, highlighting the force of the blast. Many among the injured reportedly suffered inhalation injuries, with at least 25 children affected according to local media.

Survivors shared their harrowing experiences. Boniface Sifuna, injured in the blast, told Reuters, “I was trying to escape when an exploding gas canister burned me. The impact knocked me down, and flames engulfed me. I’m lucky to have gotten away.”

James Ngoge, a resident nearby, described the terrifying moment: “I heard a huge explosion, thinking it was an earthquake. My house felt like it would collapse. My business on the road is completely destroyed.”

Amidst the chaos, the community rallied together. The Kenya Red Cross deployed teams to battle the flames, and government officials established a command center to coordinate rescue efforts. The public was urged to avoid the cordoned area to prevent further disruptions.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation. This tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the importance of safety protocols and regulations in handling hazardous materials. As Kenya mourns its losses and supports the injured, a thorough investigation is crucial to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

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