Two people have been confirmed dead following a gas explosion in Nairobi Embakasi area. Embakasi East OCPD Wesley Kimeto said at around 4.30am, one adult and a minor had succumbed to burns from the fire that erupted at Kentainers Company limited near Kabansora area. The fire later spread to godowns owned by Oriental mills.

According to Kimeto, 167 survivors have so far been treated at Mama Lucy Hospital of whom 142 are adults and 25 others are children, many with inhalation injuries. It has confirmed that 7 of the critically injured victims have been referred to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) while 17 others to Kenyatta University hospital. Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura said a lorry of an unknown registration number that was loaded with gas cylinders exploded, igniting a huge ball of fire that spread widely in the 11pm incident.

According to him, a flying gas cylinder hit Oriental godown, burning down the said godown which deals with garments and textiles. “Consequently, the inferno further damaged several vehicles and commercial properties, including many small and medium sized businesses. Sadly, residential houses in the neighborhood also caught fire, with a good number of residents still inside as it was late at night,” said Mwaura.

He said 222 other Kenyans were injured by the fire, and have been rushed to various hospitals as follows: 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. Mwaura said the scene has now been secured and a command center is now in place to help coordinate rescue operations and other intervention efforts.

By Lean Simatwa