28 June 2018

Kenya: Fatal Market Fire Hits Nairobi, Kenya

The pre-dawn blaze at Nairobi's Gikomba killed at least 15 people. The fire at Nairobi's largest market is the third in the past year.

A fire ripped through one of Nairobi's largest open-air markets early Thursday, killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens more.

At least four children were among those killed in the pre-dawn blaze at Gikomba market , which authorities said was likely started in a timber yard.

More than 70 people were taken to hospital after the blaze.

The fire spread rapidly from wooden market stands to nearby residential buildings and shanties, causing "extensive damage to property," the Red Cross said.

Rescue crews said operations were ongoing, but were slowed down by smoke, gas canisters and electricity wires.

Fires at the Gikomba market are frequent. Last year two fires just months apart reduced larges blocks of informal stands into black chars and displaced traders.

The informal market largely sells second-hand clothes, shoes and vegetables in the eastern part of the Kenyan capital.

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