Nairobi — Survivors of the devastating gas explosion in the Mradi area of Embakasi have shared harrowing details of the incident that left 3 dead and over 280 people injured.
The gas explosion, which occurred on Thursday night, sent shockwaves through the city and calls for the government to relocate gas plants from residential estates.
It occurred when a truck, carrying gas cylinders, experienced a leak that led to a catastrophic explosion, engulfing the nearby residences in flames.
Those fortunate enough to escape the inferno sustained severe burns on various parts of their bodies. The victims are currently undergoing treatment at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, where they are receiving medical care and support.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said it had arrested a security guard who helping detectives trace owners of the outlet.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Douglas Kanja said they are conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the explosion after the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority declared the gas outlet illegal.
The victims, many of whom have lost their homes and possessions to the fire, are now left with virtually nothing. Most suffered first-degree burns and injuries to multiple areas of their bodies. Speaking to Capital News, survivors recounted their terrifying experiences, likening the explosion to a house collapsing.
Agnes, one of the victims, shared her ordeal. As a landlord, she tragically watched her tenants’ homes turn to ashes. “It was around 11pm, when I heard loud screams from neighbours. I have a toddler whom I was tending to when a tenant shouted my name to warn me of the fire,” Agnes said. In her frantic efforts to save her children, Agnes sustained burns on her feet, neck, and hand as the fire rapidly spread due to strong winds.
Another survivor, Moraa, described the panic that gripped the community. “Around 11 PM, my family and I were resting in the house when all of a sudden, there was a huge explosion. When our neighbors began alerting us to the fire, some of us believed a house was collapsing,” she explained. Moraa’s family narrowly escaped as the fire rapidly approached adjacent homes. Tragically, the leaking oil added fuel to the fire, causing further injuries to those fleeing.
Geoffrey, an elderly resident, was asleep when the nightmare began. He lost most of his possessions to the blaze and called on the government for assistance. “When the fire started, I was sleeping, and the gas company opposite my house started exploding. I had an explosion, and when we went out, fire had started spreading from one of the leaking gas cans and was spreading fast with the wind when I got burnt,” Geoffrey pleaded.
Mulei Steven, a father, and his son suffered burns during their escape. “It was in the morning; I was outside my home when I heard the explosion. After realizing the fire was spreading to my house, I went back to the house to save my box that held my important items and my son,” he recounted. Mulei sustained burns on his left side during the frantic escape.
Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris visited the site and provided support to the victims. She urged the people of Nairobi to donate blood to assist those affected by the fire, offering medicine, cash, and bedding to the survivors during her visit.
“These victims need blood that is why we are appealing to Nairobians to please come forward and donate blood to save lives.
About The Author