Monday, September 12, 2011

Oil Pipeline Fire Kills Approximately 150 People

According to local officials, scores of people were burned to death and many more were injured when a fire from a pipeline explosion engulfed a thickly populated slum in Nairobi. The provincial commissioner said more than 60 were confirmed dead, with the number likely to rise. One local television station quoted an official at the scene declaring that he had counted more than 120 bodies, while a local radio station said the dead numbered more than 150.

The cause of the explosion was still unclear, but local officials said it was likely caused by a cigarette butt that ignited gasoline leaked from the pipeline. Local television broadcast images of smoldering bodies as firefighters battled the blaze, and showed badly burned slum residents emerging from the flames.

It is believed the fire started after a fuel tank spilled fuel into an open sewer that flows through the slum. As slum residents tried to scoop up the fuel, someone tossed a cigarette into the sewer. (Wash Post, 9/12/2011)

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