Huge explosion as fire breaks out in Embakasi

embakasi explosion

Screengrabs from a user video of the explosion.

Photo credit: Courtesy |

Scores of people are feared dead in Mradi village, Embakasi, Nairobi, after a gas plant exploded minutes to midnight on Thursday, plunging the city into panic.

Many more are reported to have sustained life-threatening injuries.

About two hours after the multiple explosions that sent flames and smoke billowing into the sky, emergency services, including firefighters, were yet to arrive at the scene.

"Huge explosions, huge fireballs, people screaming and running everywhere for fear of more explosions. Power cut, some people driving out of the estate. We can hear sirens now. The fire is in a warehouse next to an estate called Skyline and an informal settlement called Mradi," a witness told the Nation. 

"We are all out of the houses. The explosions are huge, the sky is red. No firefighters. It's scary so people are forwarding whatever gives hope," said a Nation journalist who lives in Nyayo estate.

The fire has engulfed neighbouring buildings, with residents of neighbouring estates such as Nyayo Embakasi coming out in droves amidst screams for fear of being caught up in the inferno.

Confirming the incident, Government Spokesman Isaac Mwaura said: "The company [a gas refilling plant] was refilling gas cylinders when the fire broke out and several people were injured and rushed to hospital.  The building where the company is located is badly damaged."

The number of casualties is yet to be confirmed. However, panic has gripped the area and many people are feared to have been injured.

"Members of the public are advised to avoid the area as rescue operations are underway, including the deployment of fire tenders to the area," Mr Mwaura said.

In an update shared at about 1.30am by the Kenya Red Cross, around 100 households had been evacuated at Mradi village, even as a multi-agency fire brigade including Nairobi City County, the National Police and the Kenya Red Cross continued to battle the fire.

"Members of the public are urged to avoid the area as rescue operations are underway," the Kenya Red Cross said.