Gas explosion in Kenya kills at least three, injures hundreds | Kenya

A vehicle loaded with gasoline exploded and sparked a blaze that burned down homes and warehouses in the Kenyan capital, killing at least three people and injuring more than 270, with the death toll expected to rise.

Many people were likely inside their homes when the fire reached their homes late at night in the Mradi area of ​​Nairobi’s Embakasi area, government spokesperson Isaac said Mwaura.

The truck explosion set off a huge fireball and a flying gas cylinder ignited a fire that burned down the Oriental Godown, a clothing and textiles warehouse, Mwaura said. Several other vehicles and businesses were damaged by the fire which started around 11:30 p.m. local time (8:30 p.m. GMT) on Thursday.

On site, at daybreak, several houses and stores were set on fire. The hull of the vehicle that allegedly triggered the explosion was lying on its side. The roof of a four-story residential building located about 200 meters from the explosion site was shattered by a flying gas cylinder. Electric wires were lying on the ground. In the burned warehouse, all that remained were the shells of several trucks.

Forensic experts examine a burned-out vehicle at the scene of the explosion. Photograph: Monicah Mwangi/Reuters

Alfred Juma, an aspiring politician, said he heard a loud noise coming from a gas cylinder in a warehouse next to his house. “I started waking up the neighbors to ask them to leave,” Juma said.

He said he warned a black car not to drive through the area, but the driver insisted and his vehicle stalled due to the fumes. “He tried to start the car three times and that’s when there was an explosion and the fire spread to (the warehouse), triggering more explosions.”

He said he grabbed two children and they hid in a sewer ditch until the explosions stopped. His family was not present, but Juma lost everything he owned in the fire.

A woman looks from her balcony at heavily damaged homes and stores the morning after the explosion. Photograph: Luis Tato/AFP/Getty Images

Another resident, Caroline Karanja, said: “The police were turning everyone away so it was difficult to access my house and I had to look for a place to sleep until this morning. » She said the smell and smoke were still overpowering and she would have to stay away for a while because she had young children.

Police and the Kenya Red Cross Society reported three deaths. The toll could rise from daybreak, said Embakasi police chief Wesley Kimeto.

The government and the Red Cross said 271 injured people were taken to several hospitals.

The proximity of the industrial enterprise to homes has raised questions about the implementation of the city’s plans. County government officials have been accused of taking bribes to ignore building codes and regulations.

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