A major fire near or at a Kenya Pipeline Company depot in the industrial area on the outskirts of Nairobi has claimed dozens of lives according to breaking news from Kenyas capital.
As the fire brigade is deploying in full force to control the fire and prevent it from spreading to other nearby installations and buildings ambulances are deployed to administer first aid to burn victims and taken them to the available city hospitals. Security services are also on full alert to cordon off the area.
No cause of the fire has yet been established and the city is awash with rumours already, while a source in regular contact with this correspondent from Nairobi is counseling caution: At this stage it is completely premature to speculate over the causes of the fire. You know the drill, we cannot rule anything in or out at this stage and priority now is to get the fire under control and extinguish it. Priority now is dealing with the injured people and remove the victims of the fire for identification and autopsies. I want to make it clear that we are not talking causes right now and a full investigation will hopefully shed light on it just as soon as the fire is out. However, indications from other sources blame aged pipes and equipment which may have broken and leaked fuel before igniting. Considering the vigilance of Kenyas security apparatus and their high state of alert coinciding with the 10th anniversary of 9 / 11, it is unlikely that this could be a terror attack and most likely an accident, at least according to the sketchy information patched together in the short period of time available.
Ironically has the Kenya Pipeline Company in 2008 called for the establishment of a fire station nearby to offer greater protection and reduce response time in case of fires. Watch this space for updates as more news become available.
No tourists have come to any harm as Lunga Lunga Road in the industrial area part of Nairobi is not ordinarily frequented by travelers and while major traffic jams are expected to hinder transportation to and from the International Airport and Wilson Airport, no other fallout for the tourism industry is expected at this moment in time.