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100 killed in Nairobi fuel fire

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba


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Those lucky not to be burned to death are fighting for their lives in hospitals. Furious tongues of fire incinerated the unlucky women, men and children alike. Some were fast sleep in their makeshift homes while others just happened to be either walking or working at the wrong place at the wrong time. Others had simply gathered around storm water drainages teeming with fuel escaping from Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) pipes. The dead and survivors had staked out to make a fortune, but they ended up as fresh statistics on Kenya’s long list of man-made disasters.

At the end of the calamitous day, some claimed it was an act of God, works of evil spirits, human negligence and even supernatural forces. In total 76 charred bodies had been pulled out of the sewers and dirty grounds around the disaster scene.

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Another 112, with blackened, burned out or peeling skins, were undergoing treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital. There were five others at Mater Hospital and only one at Metropolitan Hospital. Their groans, cries and even numbed silence seared the hearts of the nation, especially as they blared off television screens and radio speakers.