It has been a black weekend for kenya as disaster struck the capital city of Nairobi and a nearby town of Molo. Over 150 people are said to have been killed in two fire calamities: An inferno in a supermarket and a petrol tanker explosion. According to reports, there were no response by any disaster team at the time of the burning supermarket and at the time of the burning tanker.
Witnesses at the tanker explosion scene in Molo claim that the petrol tanker had fallen by the road side and hundreds of people gathered around it to collect spilled fuel, and as they hurried to and fro the leaking tanker, it caught fire and exploded, claiming over 120 lives. Meanwhile the fire in the supermarket in Nairobi is said to have claimed about 30 lives
Some section of the Kenyan society accuse the government of a lack of public safety. It is said that Kenya’s emergency services have a poor record for public safety standards. Observers say the circumstances that led to the deaths only exposes the dire conditions of the hapless kenyan poor.
About 200 people were injured in the fire, some fatally but Beth Mugo, the Kenyan Public Health Minister has said the government would pay the medical bills for those injured.
Health experts say the death toll is expected to rise. The cause of the supermarket fire is still undisclosed and that of the tanker fire is still debated. While some reports say it was caused by a lit cigarette, others say it had been started deliberately by people who had been prevented from getting to the spilt fuel.
The Kenyan flags will fly at half mast and interior Minister George Saitoti has said that all official functions have been postponed to mark a national disaster.