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15 individuals killed, 70 hospitalized, official says

NAIROBI, Kenya — A hearth swept one among Nairobi’s largest open-air markets early Thursday, killing 15 individuals and sending 70 injured to hospitals, an official mentioned, as merchants who lived there struggled to wake their households and flee.

Nairobi County Commissioner Kangethe Thuku mentioned six our bodies had been recovered and 9 have been in a constructing and had but to be retrieved.

Rescue groups looked for extra our bodies and survivors in Gikomba market within the Pumwani low-income neighborhood in Kenya’s capital. Many Kenyans store for secondhand garments from the market, which additionally provides different distributors with used garments from Europe and america.

The reason for the fireplace was not instantly introduced however “for now we have now declared this website against the law scene,” Thuku mentioned. Safety forces guarded the smoking website as staff picked by way of the blackened rubble.

One market dealer, Ruth Kaveke, grasped a wad of burnt forex and mentioned it was the one factor she managed to salvage from her cloth-making retailer. It was the second time fireplace has destroyed her solely supply of livelihood in as a few years.

“I dwell available in the market as a result of it’s handy and I wished to be shut by; simply in case of fireside I might salvage my property,” she mentioned.

Her two youngsters wouldn’t simply get up when the newest fireplace broke out, nonetheless, and by the point she obtained them to security it was too late to avoid wasting anything, she mentioned.

The fireplace began round 2:30 a.m. and was contained about an hour and a half later, in line with the St. John Ambulance charity.

Residents mentioned the crowded market has had fires a number of occasions in recent times, and merchants have suffered enormous losses. Officers have mentioned entry roads are clogged with merchants who block emergency response companies, whereas critics say these companies are poor.

The market is a five-minute stroll from Nairobi’s central enterprise district in an space focused by the Nairobi County Authorities for an improve.

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