In a harrowing incident late Thursday night, Nairobi, Kenya’s bustling capital, was rocked by a massive gas explosion that resulted in the tragic loss of at least three lives, including a child, and left nearly 300 individuals injured. The explosion, originating from a lorry loaded with gas cylinders in the Embakasi district, unleashed a “huge fireball,” causing widespread damage to residential and commercial properties.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the catastrophe, with Kenya’s deputy president assuring that those responsible will face accountability. The explosion not only claimed lives but also caused significant property damage, affecting housing, businesses, and vehicles. The inferno raged close to blocks of flats, with video footage capturing the blaze’s intensity.
The Kenyan Red Cross reported that around 300 people suffered injuries due to the fire, with many being treated and sent home, while at least 39 individuals were transferred to other facilities for critical injuries. An additional 27 people received on-site treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.
The government initially attributed the blast to a gas plant operation, later clarifying that a truck had exploded in a parking yard. This revelation has sparked concerns over safety standards and regulatory compliance, as the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) disclosed that the gas plant was operating illegally, having been denied construction permits due to safety concerns.
The aftermath of the explosion saw a concerted effort from emergency services, with firefighters battling the blaze and rescue operations underway to account for missing persons. The community’s resilience is being tested as it comes to terms with the scale of the disaster, prompting calls for stricter enforcement of safety regulations and accountability for those flouting the rules.
As Nairobi mourns the loss and grapples with the devastation, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of adhering to safety standards and regulations. The Kenyan government has vowed to take stringent measures to prevent such tragedies in the future, emphasizing the need for vigilance and responsibility among businesses and individuals alike.
The explosion has not only caused physical damage but has also left a deep emotional scar on the community, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive safety measures and strict enforcement to safeguard lives and properties. As the city begins the process of healing and rebuilding, the focus turns to ensuring such a disaster never occurs again.