Kenyan Fire Witness – Explosions and People in Flames

A witness to a fire caused by a gas explosion late Thursday in the Embakasi neighborhood of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, described “loud explosives, one after another” and a sky of red and orange.

The Associated Press reported that the explosion and fire killed at least three people and injured more than 270.

Zainab Saidi, a freelance reporter for VOA’s Swahili Service who lives near the location of the blast, said she heard the explosion around 11:30 p.m. and saw a bright light outside her window.

“There was a loud bang just across my window [at] the company where they refill the gases,” she said. “It went for 25 to 30 minutes of just explosives, loud explosives, one after another, and the sky was now red or orange, and smoke. It was scary.”

She went outside to see what was happening.

“Now the fire has started spreading, now coming across the [vendor] stalls … just right opposite our gate,” she said.

Saidi saw a woman in flames as people were running and screaming.

“I heard a loud bang, and I was on the floor,” she said. “I just felt heat, so my senses just told me to remove the hood that I had [on] and the sweatpants.”

Saidi left the area and spent the night with family. When she woke up, she found severe burns on her hands and one leg.

She went to the hospital to be treated.

Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura said on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, that a truck loaded with gas exploded, igniting a huge ball of fire that spread widely.

He said the inferno damaged several vehicles and commercial properties. Neighborhood houses also caught fire, with many residents inside.

The scene has been secured and a command center is now in place to help coordinate rescue operations and other intervention efforts, he said.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

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