A devastating gas explosion rocked the Kenyan capital,
Nairobi, claiming the lives of at least three individuals and leaving nearly
300 injured. The incident occurred in the Embakasi district around 11:30 PM
local time, engulfing the area in a massive ball of fire. Preliminary reports
indicate that a truck transporting gas ignited, causing widespread destruction
to homes, businesses, and vehicles.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of
the explosion, with one individual already apprehended in connection with the
incident. Among the casualties were children, with fears that the death toll
may rise as rescue efforts continue. Over 270 people were hospitalized,
including 25 children, with some sustaining critical injuries.
Initial confusion surrounded the location of the blast,
initially believed to have occurred at a gas plant before clarification
revealed it was a truck explosion in a parking yard. The intensity of the blast
resulted in extensive damage to nearby structures, including a clothing
warehouse and residential buildings.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA)
revealed that the gas plant was operating illegally, having been denied
construction permits multiple times due to safety concerns. Despite these
rejections, the facility continued to operate, highlighting regulatory lapses
and potential corruption.
Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura emphasized the need for
the responsible parties to compensate the victims and take full accountability
for the tragedy. The aftermath of the explosion left a scene of destruction,
with numerous vehicles incinerated and buildings severely damaged.
Eyewitness accounts paint a harrowing picture of the chaos
and devastation caused by the explosion. Survivors recounted terrifying
experiences of fleeing from flames and witnessing others engulfed in fire. The
blast's impact sent debris flying through the air, causing injuries and
destruction over a wide area.
As rescue operations continue, authorities have urged the
public to avoid the cordoned-off area to facilitate the mission. The
establishment of a command center aims to streamline rescue efforts and ensure
effective coordination among response teams.
The tragic event serves as a stark reminder of the
importance of stringent safety regulations and enforcement to prevent such
disasters in the future. It underscores the need for accountability and
transparency in the operation of hazardous facilities to safeguard the lives
and well-being of communities.