(Update: raises casualty figures, adds details, minor edits, changes head and lede)
Nairobi, Feb 2 (EFE).- At least three people were killed and more than 270 injured in a huge gas explosion and fire shortly before midnight in Nairobi, Kenyan authorities said Friday.
Deputy Inspector of Police, General Douglas Kanja, told reporters at the scene that three deaths had been recorded so far, with emergency teams still inspecting the site.
The Kenya Red Cross wrote on X that it had evacuated “271 individuals to different health facilities” while its collaboration with ambulance services had tended to “an extra 27 individuals on-site.”
At around 11.30 pm local time, (20:30 GMT), a huge explosion occurred in the Mradi area, in Embakasi, about 18 kilometers from the center of the Kenyan capital, government spokesman Isaac Maigua Mwaura wrote on X.
“One lorry of an unknown registration number that was loaded with gas exploded, igniting a huge ball of fire that spread widely,” he said.
A gas cylinder hit a clothing and textile warehouse, resulting in the blaze damaging vehicles and commercial property, including many businesses.
Mwaura said houses in the neighborhood also caught fire, “with a good number of residents still inside.”
The site, to which fire trucks and emergency services personnel were deployed, has been secured and authorities have established a command center to help coordinate rescue operations.
“Kenyans are hereby advised to keep off the cordoned area in order to allow the rescue mission to be carried out minimal disruptions,” added the spokesperson, who sent his “sincere condolences” to the families of the victims. EFE