Pipeline Blast Kills At Least 75 In Kenya
Reporters tell The Daily Beast that they saw piles of charred bodies floating in a nearby river containing sewage. Head Nairobi police officer Wilfred Mbithi said some people jumped into the river in an attempt to extinguish flames.
Officials say there are over 112 burn victims at the city’s national hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital, and the death toll is certain to rise, reports The Daily Beast.
Hospital officials told the Associated Press that they are in need of blood donors and blankets.
Many of the victims were children who have burns covering large portions of their bodies, making some unrecognizable.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga visited the wounded in the hospital. He told the Associated Press that the incident was a “terrible accident” and that the government would cover the medical expenses of the injured and compensate those who lost loved ones.
Odinga also visited the offices of Kenya Pipeline Company, a state-owned company that operates the pipeline.
Odinga said that Kenya Pipeline Company told him the explosion was caused by a leak from the pipeline into nearby sewage and that there will be a proper investigation, the Associated Press reports.
Some reports already suggest that the blast was sparked by a cigarette butt being thrown into an open sewer filled with fuel, according to the BBC.
The Kenya Pipeline Company told the BBC that the fuel leaked into a storm drain from the pipeline, which many people tried to collect with buckets. Many who were attempting to stop the leak died in the explosion.
The pipeline was a radius of 300 meters, according to CBC News. Shacks were set on fire and many burned to death.
The Red Cross has been conducting search and rescue operations and has set up two tents for first aid and counseling, the Associated Press reports. The Red Cross has also been providing bodybags and materials for temporary shelter for those who lost, or are unable to get to, their homes.
Reach associate news editor Hannah Madans here.
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