Sabahi (Washington, DC)

Kenya: Train Accident in Nairobi's Kibera Slum Injures Six

A cargo train derailed in Nairobi's Kibera slum Sunday (December 22nd), injuring at least six people as it crashed into makeshift homes where people are feared still trapped, AFP reported.

"We have rescued six people, most of them were crying out from the structures that were crushed and they could not move, but we managed to dig out and rescue them," Johnson Maina of the fire service department.

Local residents suggested casualties may be lower than initially feared as most of those whose houses were destroyed appear not to have been at home when the accident happened, having either left for church or gone back to their villages for the Christmas holidays.

"Because of the time of year and the time of day a lot of people were not at home," a local chief who identified himself as Patrick said.

"The initial report is that people are feared trapped, but so far we have not received reports of any actual missing persons," a Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) emergency officer said.

KRCS had earlier said that "scores were feared trapped".

Secretary of Transport and Infrastructure Michael Kamau said the government has long warned the residents of Kibera not to put up houses right next to the railway, which crosses the settlement.

"We have always warned people against encroaching on the line," he said. "So they must move, we cannot continue having such disasters."

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