Written By:Glena Nyamwaya, Posted: Sun, Jun 05, 2011
One person has died and scores others injured after it is alleged that an underground fuel tank exploded in a petrol station in Nairobi’s central business district Sunday morning.
The unfortunate incident took place along the busy Kirinyaga Road in Nairobi’s downtown, with the tank exploding at a Shell Petrol Station.
The Nairobi City Council Fire Brigade and Kenya Police Service responded quickly to stop the spreading fire and rescue many people who were trapped in the rubble.
The blast extended to adjacent building and both private and public service vehicles that were in the vicinity, causing damage of an unknown value.
The rescue exercise led by St. John Ambulance staff is still ongoing as about 29 of those injured have already been rushed to the Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment and 5 others have.
So far, one person is confirmed to have lost his life, as the fire fighters, police officers and members of the public struggle to clear the rubble so as to find more trapped persons.
Leaders visit victims
Prime minister Raila Odinga led ministers James Orengo, Fred Gumo and Esther Murugi to the site and the hospital, where he vowed that the government will work to ensure that the cause of the explosion is determined.
The leaders sought to console those injured in the mid-morning accident, with Raila adding that bomb expert and the police dog unit were on site to investigate the incident.
Director of police operation Julius Ndegwa said there was no cause for alarm as the bomb experts on site will ensure that no recurrent explosion occurs as feared by many.
Many other people with minor injuries have emerged at the site, most of whom were injured by the shattered windows of their residential homes following the blast.
The area is lined with many motor garages and mechanics recall hearing a loud explosion before witnessing a large fire.
They say a majority of those injured were mechanics working outside as well as spare part dealers who were working in their shops near the petrol station.
The impact of the underground explosion in a tank covered by a wall is said to have been reduced by containers that were lined up along the wall.
The containers that were shaken by the blast are currently being moved to confirm that no one has been trapped beneath.
The loss incurred as a result of the damage is yet to be established.
Police at the site are yet to address the media on the possible cause of the blast, that occured around Sunday noon.