The BBC is reporting that nearly 80 people died after an oil-pipeline exploded in Nairobi, Kenya, igniting a neighboring slum.
The blast took place in the city's Lunga Lunga industrial area, and police and troops cordoned off the area as firefighters battled fierce flames in the surrounding shantytown. A Red Cross official, Pamela Indiaka, said that at least 75 bodies had been recovered. Some reports put the toll at more than 100 dead. More than 110 people were injured.
The pipeline runs through the densely populated Sinai slum area between Nairobi's city center and the airport.
Reports suggest that the blast may have been sparked by a cigarette butt being thrown into an open sewer that was filling up with fuel. The fuel had leaked into a storm drain from the Nairobi-Mombasa pipeline, the Kenya Pipeline Co. said in a statement. Residents said that the spill had prompted many people to rush and collect leaking fuel.
Parts of bodies littered the remains of burning shacks for some 1,000 feet around the site of the blast, locals said. Some of the shacks were built on top of the pipeline, residents say.
Homes built directly above an oil pipeline? Gasoline moving through a sewer located directly below one of the nation's most densely populated slums has proved to be ridiculously dangerous. Whose idea was that? Clearly it is not a good one, and once again, the have-nots must suffer with injuries and death. We're surprised the numbers aren't higher. Not ensuring the safety of those who live near the pipeline is unacceptable.
Read more at the BBC News.
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