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Pipeline explosion in Kenya leaves at least 73 dead

World Events

Pipeline explosion in Kenya leaves at least 73 dead

Jorge Hernandez September 12, 2011

A leaking pipeline in a crowded, impoverished neighborhood in Nairobi, Kenya, exploded on Monday, killing at least 73 people, according to The New York Times. A large crowd had gathered around the pipe in an effort to collect the leaking fuel.

The explosion caused a large fire, which is responsible for many of the deaths. The incident occurred in Sinai, an industrial slum in the country's capital. Images from the scene show human remains that were reduced to mostly ash. As of Monday afternoon, firefighters were still trying to control the flames, which prompted Kenyan police to shut down several roads in the area.

According to Reuters, the media in Kenya is claiming that the death toll is over 100. Police spokesman Charles Owino told Reuters that it is believed the fire began when someone discarded a lit cigarette, which ignited the flames.

Witnesses reported that many people had rushed to the pipeline to collect fuel in jerry cans. "As I finished and turned away there was a boom as the fuel ignited," Sammy Njenga, who lives in the slum, told Reuters. "I could feel the flames on my back and dropped one can so I could run further. But it spread so fast I dropped the other as well. I had been standing next to a mother of three who wasn't fast enough. She died."

This wasn't the only deadly blast to occur today. In southern France, an explosion at a nuclear waste processing center killed one person, but fortunately no radiation has been reported to be leaking, according to ABC News.