Video-100 dead as Kenya wakes up to fire tragedy


Over one hundred people have been confirmed dead in a slum fire in Nairobi. More than 120 bodies are scattered all over the sprawling slum estate that are yet to be removed. The fire was caused by an oil spill from the Kenya Pipeline Corporation pipes that run through the Industrial Area.The fire is said to have caused several explosions which gutted down homes killing unsuspecting residents. The bodies include those of children, women and men who were either preparing to go to work or had returned home from night duty at their various work places.

Kenyan leaders united in grief

President Mwai Kibaki has sent a message of condolence to the families,relatives and friends of those who perished in a fire accident in Nairobi’s Industrial area Monday morning.

In his message, the President expressed deep sympathy to the bereaved families and prayed to God to give them the courage and strength to bear the tragic loss.

The President visited those admitted in Kenyatta National Hospital following the fire accident quick recovery.

Meanwhile, several leaders and top government officials including Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka visited Sinai slums, to condole with families of those who perished in the fire tragedy.
The leaders pledged government’s support for the fire victims and survivors.
Cabinet ministers Prof George Saitoti, Kiraitu Murungi, Beth Mugo and Esther Murugi visited fire survivors at KNH.
The PM who also visited the injured at the Kenyatta National Hospital sent his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and expressed his sympathy with the survivors and wished them quick recovery.
Noting that the accident was the worst tragedy to occur in the history of the country in the energy sector, Raila said the government had instituted thorough investigations in the accident to determine the cause and avoid similar occurrences in future.
He asked the nation to remain calm even as he pledged that the government will compensate the families of those who lost their lives.
Oil casket failure
The Premier, who was briefed about the tragedy at the Kenya Pipeline offices in industrial area, said the possible cause of the fire was a failure of a casket that caused the oil to leak into the drainage igniting the fire.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka appealed to Kenyans to be calm saying investigations into the fire have been launched.
He said it was not time to blame anyone for the tragedy and urged Kenyans to support the affected families.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta urged  leaders to feel a collective sense of responsibility adding that he was determined to do whatever he can to meet the needs of those affected.
"We have heard of lives that were lost, we have seen people walk away injured- their lives completely changed. As Kenyans we feel a collective sense of loss and grief. As leaders we ought to feel a collective sense of responsibility," Uhuru noted.
Those who visited the various hospitals where survivors are admitted called on Kenyans to step in and help.
Counseling centres have been set up at the City Stadium. The Red Cross has also set up a tracing centre at Family Hope Clinic at Sinai. Families searching for loved ones can visit the Centre.
30 degree burns
Elsewhere, Kenyatta National Hospital has send out appeals for blood donation to save lives of those admitted at the hospital.
The Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Leresian send out the appeal saying all the 112 patients admitted at the hospital had 30 degree burns and some will require blood transfusion to save their lives.
He said most of the patients had however stabilized   though clinical assessment was still being undertaken together with  treatment.


More than 100 people were burned to death when a fuel pipeline burst into flames in Nairobi’s Sinai slum.

“We are putting the number of dead at over 100, we are waiting for body bags to put the victims into,” said Thomas Atuti, area police commander.

The explosion happened in Nairobi’s Lunga Lunga industrial area, which is surrounded by the densely packed tin-shack housing of the Sinai slum.

“There had been a leak in the fuel pipeline earlier, and people were going to collect the fuel that was coming out,” said Joseph Mwego, a resident.

“Then there was a loud bang, a big explosion, and smoke and fire burst up high.”
Many residents were caught up in the blaze, which started around 8.30am.

“People were trying to scoop fuel from the pipeline,” a Red Cross official confirmed by telephone, adding that the organisation had sent a team to the scene of the fire.

“I have never seen this in my life. I have seen women and children burnt like firewood. The very worst was a woman burned with her baby on her back,” a local resident Francis Muendo said.

“We’re not sure about the number (of casualties)” said Dan Mutinda, a Red Cross official coordinating relief efforts at the scene of the fire. “From where I am I can see over 40 bodies burned completely. A couple have been swept away by the river.”

Some of those who caught fire jumped into a nearby stream to try to extinguish the flames when their clothing and hair caught fire, but many succumbed to their injuries in the water. Police have placed a net across the stream to prevent the bodies from drifting away.

Mutinda said the last of the injured have now been evacuated and he and his colleagues are now concentrating on “support and tracing services.”

The sound of ambulance sirens ferrying away the injured for medical care gave way to the shouts of children, some in school uniform, running around searching for their parents.

Bystanders covered their mouths to avoid choking on the acrid smoke. Firefighters in protective clothing sprayed chemical foam to try to contain the fire, while both police and soldiers roped off the area and pushed people back from the area.

Houses close to the pipeline were also engulfed in flames, their tin roofs buckling and disintegrating and their badly burned residents evacuated for medical care.

Local televisions said scores of burn victims had been taken to hospital and showed footage of the injured being ferried by ambulance.

Fuel leaks and oil tanker accidents in Africa often draw huge crowds scrambling to scoop fuel, resulting in many deaths due to accidental fires.

In 2009, 122 people were killed after a fire erupted while they were drawing fuel from an overturned tanker in western Kenya.




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