More than 100 people were burned to death and 100 others were reportedly taken to hospital after being injured by a petrol fire ignited by a cigarette butt in a densely populated slum located in the Kenyan capital, Reuters reported Monday September 12.
While officials confirmed a large number of people had been burned to death, no official count of the bodies had been made as authorities were still battling the fire.
Local television channels aired horrific footages which showed the extensive death toll and damage caused by the fire.
According to reports by local television channels and radios the death toll varies between 120 to 150 dead.
"The scene is bad, there is a large number of people burned to death," deputy police spokesman Charles Owino told Reuters.
"There are many bodies, we are yet to count them."
According to Owino the fire started after a fuel tank at a Kenya Pipeline Company depot spilled fuel into an open sewer which ran through the slum. Residents then tried to scoop the fuel from the pipe, which is an expensive good for many of them, but were burned after someone tossed a cigarette but into the sewer which created the fire.
Despite efforts from both the fire-fighters and ambulances to rescue people as quickly as possible and bring the fire under control, the death toll is set to rise even higher.
"There is an informal school inside the slum, they have all been burned," Daniel Mutinda, a spokesman the Kenya Red Cross, said.
The fire shows the danger and the impact of living in such precarious living conditions, as slums inhabitants are deprived from living in areas and buildings that meet minimal hygiene and security standards, putting their life at risks on a daily basis and provide yet another tragic proof that the Kenyan government need to do much more to rehouse the vulnerable slums inhabitants.