Nairobi fire: At least 3 dead, hundreds injured in massive gas explosion and fire in Kenyan capital

Luis Tato/AFP/Getty Images

People run for safety following a series of explosions in the Embakasi area of ​​Nairobi on February 2, 2024.



CNN

At least three people were killed and 280 injured in a gas explosion at an unlicensed cooking gas filling plant in Kenya's capital on Thursday night, officials in the East African country said.

A truck carrying gas exploded in Nairobi's Embakasi district around 11:30pm local time, “igniting a large fireball that spread widely,” government spokesman Isaac Maikwa Mawara said.

A video posted on social media shows the explosion, resulting in a huge fireball. CNN cannot independently verify the footage.

Residential buildings, businesses and cars were damaged in the blast and subsequent inferno, Mwaura said in a social media post.

“As a result, three fellow Kenyans […] Unfortunately they lost their lives while participating [to] at Nairobi West Hospital,” Mwaura said.

“Additionally, now, 280 fellow Kenyans have been injured in the fire and have since been admitted to various hospitals,” he added.

“Psychological Counseling Offered to Trauma Victims.”

Luis Tato/AFP/Getty Images

A video posted on social media shows the explosion, resulting in a huge fireball. CNN cannot independently verify the footage.

Luis Tato/AFP/Getty Images

Residential buildings, commercial establishments and cars were damaged in the blast and subsequent inferno, an official said.

One resident told CNN his home was gutted by inferno. Alex Ontida, 25, who lived with his aunt and uncle, said, “My house is completely damaged.

“I was scared and emotional because this is where I lived and now it's burned down. I have nowhere to go,” said Ontida, who said she stayed at the scene all night.

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Other residents, such as 29-year-old Filik Kerubo, were counting losses from the blast. Kerubo told CNN outside his destroyed convenience store that he was sleeping when the explosion happened.

He said his 27-year-old brother, who was injured in the fire, is now receiving treatment at a medical facility in the capital.

Another survivor, Edwin Macchio, described how he fled the scene in desperation. “The fire caught me almost a kilometer away as I was escaping,” Macchio told Reuters.

“The flames from the explosion knocked me down and burned my neck,” he told a Reuters reporter, showing his injuries.

The Kenya Red Cross said it had evacuated 271 people to hospitals around Nairobi and was “tirelessly fighting the flames” alongside other agencies.

A command center has been set up at the scene to coordinate rescue operations and other intervention efforts, spokesman Mwaura said, adding that the scene is now secured.

“Kenyans are hereby advised to stay away from the cordoned off area to allow the rescue operation to take place with minimum disruption,” he said.

Kenya's Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said on Friday that the explosion occurred at an unlicensed cooking gas filling plant.

EPRA said it received applications for construction permits for a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage and filling plant at the site in March, June and July 2023, but all applications were rejected as they did not meet the criteria for the plant. That part.

The applications were rejected “because the designs failed to meet the safety distances specified in the Kenyan standard,” it said in a statement, noting the high population density surrounding the proposed site.

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