Fifteen dead in Nairobi market fire, 70 injured

NAIROBI – Fifteen people died and 70 were injured when fire swept through a market and nearby homes in central Nairobi in the early hours of Thursday.

Senior official Kangethe Thuku a Nairobi regional coordinator said the blaze broke out in a timber yard.

The blaze started at around 2.30am and spread through Gikomba market and nearby apartments and shanties, it was contained around an hour and half later, according to Emergency Service St John Ambulance.

Gikomba is downtown part of the city and is the heartbeat of a huge informal market, selling everything from second-hand clothes to hardware. The area has been damaged several times by fire before.

Thuku said the death toll from Thursday’s blaze had reached 15.

He said,”About five… arrived dead in the hospital but we still have about nine bodies in the burning buildings because we want to confirm and ensure the safety of those buildings.”

He said some victims had been taken to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) while another facility was used the Mama Lucy Hospital.

A further 70 people were injured in the fire, whose cause had yet to be established, he added.

According to a Reuters photographer, they said that they saw bodies being brought out from a building and people sifting through ashen wreckage as smoke rose from the site.

The acting Chief Executive of KNH Thomas Mutie said the hospital was on alert for more victims. “In case we have any more, we are ready for them.”

Photo Credit- US News & World Report

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