At least two people have been killed and hundreds injured after a gas explosion triggered a massive fire in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.
The fire broke out on Thursday night in the Embakasi neighborhood, government spokesman Isaac Maigua Mwaura said on social media platform X.
He disclosed that a truck with an unknown registration number that was loaded with gas exploded, igniting a huge ball of fire that spread widely, adding that vehicles, businesses and residential homes had been consumed by the flames, with a good number of residents still trapped inside as it was late at night.
Wesley Kimeto, commander in charge of police in Embakasi, was quoted as saying at least two people had been confirmed dead in the incident.
The Kenyan Red Cross said it had taken some 271 people to health facilities around the capital and 27 were treated on site.
Witnesses told local media they had felt tremors immediately after the blast. Many of the injured are said to have inhalation injuries and they include at least 25 children.
Firefighters were still working to bring the fire under control at about 6:30 a.m. local time (03:30 GMT), according to reports, and large columns of black smoke were seen rising into the air on the outskirts of the city.
In his statement, Mwaura added that the area had now “been secured, and a command centre is now in place to help coordinate rescue operations and other intervention efforts.”
He advised the public to keep off the cordoned area to allow the rescue mission to be carried out with minimal disruptions.
But for nearby residents, the fire has impacted livelihoods and businesses.
A multi-agency team comprising the Nairobi County Fire Brigade, the National Police Service, the Kenya Red Cross and E-Plus Ambulances Kenya is leading the efforts to combat the fire.
The Kenya Red Cross, in an update on its Twitter handle, said 100 households have been evicted.
Residents living near the scene of the tragedy are reported to have experienced “tremor-like reactions” immediately after the explosion.

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