At least three people were killed and nearly 300 injured when a gas-filled truck exploded in one of Nairobi’s districts, the BBC reports. The explosion occurred on Thursday evening in the parking lot of a company that refills gas cylinders. The explosion caused a fire to spread to nearby buildings.
Until a massive explosion in the capital Kenya it happened late Thursday evening. At around 11:20 p.m. local time, a gas-filled truck exploded in the parking lot of a gas cylinder refilling company. The explosion was so strong that it created a “huge fireball” that quickly “spread in all directions,” said Isaac Mwaura, spokesman for the Kenyan government. As he added, the “hell” that arose then began to encompass vehicles standing in the area as well as residential and industrial buildings. The fire was spread by, among others, textile warehouse located nearby.
As the explosion occurred just before midnight, many of them were still occupied. According to the latest information, at least three people died and another 280 were hospitalized. However, these numbers are not final. Search operations are still ongoing in the area.
Flying gas cylinders
According to witnesses of the incident, the explosion threw various objects into the air, including gas cylinders and a shipping container. One such cylinder exploded right in front of a local resident, Boniface Sifuna. – I was burned by an exploding gas cylinder when I tried to escape – he says. – It exploded right in front of me. The force of the explosion knocked me to the ground and the flames consumed me. Fortunately, I had enough strength to escape, he admitted in an interview with Reuters.
The force of the explosion was so great that another gas cylinder thrown into the air damaged the roof of a residential building 200 meters away. – The fire caught up with me from almost a kilometer away – describes the Reuters interlocutor who suffered neck burns. – Everyone was running away – describes Jackline Karimi, a resident of Nairobi, to the BBC. – I saw a burning woman, but I couldn’t help her – she adds.
– The scene of the incident has been secured and a command center has been established nearby to coordinate rescue operations, said a spokesman for the Kenyan government. Local residents are asked to stay away from the designated area. The causes of the truck explosion remain unknown. However, it is already known that the company where the explosion took place did not have the appropriate licenses to conduct gas distribution activities.
The Kenya Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) announced that last year it received three applications from the company in question for a permit to build a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage and distribution facility. All three were rejected due to the fact that the installation designs submitted by the company “did not meet the safety requirements set out in Kenyan standards.” In the justification for EPRA’s refusal, attention was also drawn to the “high population density around the proposed location,” the office said in a press statement issued on Friday.
Reuters, PAP, BBC, CNN, TVN24.pl
Main photo source: PAP/EPA – PAGE