Possible 'electrical fault' in Kenya blast

2012-05-28 14:14
Nairobi - A blast struck a shopping complex in Nairobi's business district during Monday's lunch hour, wounding more than a dozen people, but it was not immediately clear what had caused the explosion.

Dense black smoke billowed from the badly damaged building and sirens blared as emergency service crews rushed to Moi Avenue, a major road running through the city centre.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said it was too early to determine the cause of the blast. He said blackened wires inside the trading centre indicated a possible electrical fault but did not rule out a bomb.

More than ten people have been killed in a string of attacks in Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October to fight al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Nairobi has blamed the al-Shabaab militants, who merged with al-Qaeda earlier this year, for the surge in violence and kidnappings that has threatened tourism in east Africa's biggest economy and wider regional destabilisation.

A military helicopter hovered in the skies above downtown Nairobi and the security forces cordoned off nearby streets.

Medics applied bandages to the walking wounded gathered by nearby buildings and some bystanders wailed in shock. Clothing, shoes and blown out windows littered the road.

Crowds carried away people seen with blood streaming down their faces.

"There was a huge bang followed by people screaming and shouting," said one witness who declined to be named.

Assistant Internal Security Minister Joshua Ojode said 15 people were wounded, 11 of them critically. A Reuters cameraman at the main public hospital said medics reported 27 casualties.

There have been several attacks near the border with Somalia since Kenya's military incursion. At least five people were killed in two separate attacks in the remote region on Saturday.

Currency traders said the blast weakened the Kenyan shilling At 11:15 GMT the local currency traded at 85.55/75 against the dollar after earlier trading at 85.30/50.

"We have seen a bit of depreciation on the local currency. It's right in the central business district, so it's not very good news to be getting, and I think that causes some fear," said Duncan Kinuthia, head of trading at Commercial Bank of Africa.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  al-qaeda  |  kenya  |  east africa

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

De Allende's star burns bright
Boks were 'in a dark space'
Pacific island teams singled out for rough tactics?
Ireland favourites but France bullish
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal scenario...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.