A huge gas explosion in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi killed at least three people, local authorities said Friday. Authorities said at least 222 people had been injured and taken to hospital.
"The concerted actions of various response units have resulted in the successful evacuation of 271 individuals to different health facilities in Nairobi," the Kenya Red Cross posted on X, formerly Twitter.
It added that a further 27 people were being treated on site. The organization said it ferried 29 people to the hospital.
Death toll in Nairobi fire expected to rise
Wesley Kimeto, police chief for the Embakasi neighborhood, said a minor and an adult were among the dead, and the death toll was expected to rise.
Firefighters were still trying to bring the fire under control around 6:30 am local time (0330 GMT), according to an AFP journalist.
Plumes of black smoke were seen from the fire on the outskirts of the city.
"The government has asked people to vacate the area. Some people were seen leaving early this morning with their belongings. Some said their property had been burned to the ground, so they cannot carry anything when they go to safer places," said DW Correspondent Felix Maringa.
Concerns have been raised over the proximity of the industrial company to residences. County officials have been accused of taking bribes to overlook building codes and regulations.
What caused the gas explosion in Nairobi?
The fire in Nairobi's Embakasi neighborhood started just before midnight at a gas refilling company.
"The company was refilling gas cylinders when fire broke out and several people injured and rushed to hospital. The building hosting the company is badly damaged. The cause of the fire remains unknown," government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura said on X.
A truck with an unknown registration number and loaded with gas exploded, igniting a huge fireball, a government spokesperson said. A flying gas cylinder hit Oriental Godown, burning down the warehouse that deals with garments and textiles.
Several other vehicles and businesses were damaged by the inferno that started around 11:30 p.m. Thursday in the Mradi area.
"The government spokesperson said it was caused by a truck carrying liquefied petroleum gas that burst. Next to the explosion was a company that manufactures fabric. So the gas explosion caught on to the fabric," DW's Felix Maringa said, adding that authorities are still investigating the incident.