'Cigarette butt' ignited Kenya pipeline

2011-09-12 13:07

Nairobi – More than 100 people were burnt to death and a similar number were taken to hospital after a petrol fire ignited by a cigarette butt broke out in a densely populated slum in the Kenyan capital, local media said on Monday.

Police said a large number of people had been burnt to death, but that no official count had been undertaken because authorities were battling the fire before doing so.

Local television channels aired images of smouldering skeletons as the fire raged through the slum. Badly burnt slum dwellers staggered in a daze, skin peeling off their faces and arms.

Citizen television quoted an official at the scene who said he had counted more than 120 dead bodies. Capital FM radio said the dead numbered more than 150.

"The scene is bad, there is a large number of people burnt to death," deputy police spokesperson Charles Owino told Reuters.

"There are many bodies, we are yet to count them."

Owino said the fire started after a fuel tank at a depot belonging to the Kenya Pipeline Company spilled fuel into an open sewer flowing through the slum.

Residents of the slum tried to scoop up the fuel from the burst pipe and other from the sewer, but were burnt when the petrol ignited after someone tossed a cigarette butt into the sewer, Owino said.

Firefighters scrambled across the corrugated rooftops of burning shacks to pour foam on petrol that flowed down the slum's muddy alleyways. Ambulances ferried dozens of wounded to nearby hospitals.

"There is an informal school inside the slum, they have all been burnt," Daniel Mutinda, a spokesperson the Kenya Red Cross, said.

  • MrMyVoice - 2011-09-12 13:26

    May God please intervene and Help, through Jesus...AMEN.

      daaivark - 2011-09-12 13:34

      Bit late for intervention, Sir.

      Mikemcc - 2011-09-12 14:53

      @MrMyVoice, so what was this god of yours doing whilst all these people were being incinerated? If god did nothing to protect them from burning then why would god do anything now? As Daaivark says above - too late for intervention.

      emile.eley - 2011-09-12 20:46


      Valis - 2011-09-13 13:16

      And I pray to Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy to help. They are JUST as real as your invisible magic-man in the sky.

  • Delano - 2011-09-12 15:48

    Look man, I'm not the most religious of people. Although lately I've been trying. I do believe that there is a plan. Sounds screwed up I know, but some things are just above our understanding. HE has a plan. He also woudn't put anyone through something they cannot handle. God does work in misterious ways and yes, sometimes we do think he's not there. Or...he stuffed up. But like I said, its a test.He's got a plan. And he will help them through this :)

      Mikemcc - 2011-09-12 16:11

      @Delano, you are right it does sound screwed up because it is. How can god possibly help them through this if he allowed, no wait, actually planned for this to happen to them? Why would anyone want to be subservient to an entity that uses situations like watching your child being incinerated in front of you as a lesson? I have mentioned it before but one commentator stated it perfectly - this is like hanging your child over a balcony and pretending to drop them until they are screaming in fear, then bringing them back in and comforting them saying "do you see how merciful I am". No god had anything to do with this nor will any god be able to do anything about it - not existing makes it difficult to attend to the mundane matters of mortal life apparently.

      AJ2 - 2011-09-13 05:13

      @Delano 'He also wouldn't put anyone through something they cannot handle' - well except for the victims who could not handle it of course, and died a tragic painful death that is.

      Jim - 2011-09-13 12:48

      @Delano You are right, God does have a plan. He made us responsible beings that turned against Him (sinned) and what we see in the article is as a result of the sin of all men. Sin entered & evil entered with it and by sinning, we became the enemies of this God. However, God has made a way to be reconciled with Him - He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Mediator between us and Him by giving His own life as a substitute for us. He died to take the just punishment for our sins, and because He arose from the dead, He also conquered death so that those that turn to Him will live after death - live though they still die the first death here on earth. You are called to accept this Jesus as very God and repent of your sins by turning to Him with all your sins. You cannot first become good to be accepted by Him, you have to accept His merits on your behalf and then His merits becomes yours before God. Flee to this Jesus in prayer and in faith, and He will enable you to repent of your sin & you will become a child of His. To one day hear the beautiful words of Jesus the judge, "Enter into the joy of your Master"!

      Valis - 2011-09-13 13:19

      @Jim: You are right, Santa Claus does have a plan. He knows when you are good, he knows when you are bad. He watches you all the time and will reward you for being good and punish you for being bad. So all must pray to Santa Claus! Santa Claus will save us.

      Valis - 2011-09-13 13:24

      @Jim: You are right, Santa Claus does have a plan. He knows when you are good, he knows when you are bad. He watches you all the time. He will punish you if you are bad, he will reward you if you are good. Let's all pray to Santa Claus! Santa will help us!

      Jim - 2011-09-13 13:37

      @ Valis It is difficult to kick against the pricks, is it not? This Jesus came with the utmost love and compassion even for such as you! Turn to Him, He is pure love. He said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:28-30). He also said, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."

  • psydomx - 2011-09-12 16:48

    uthi " CIGARETTES WILL KILL YOU" ja'bona

  • Bluffbandit - 2011-09-13 04:58

    Tragic, but predictable.. Not the first time not the last time. Happened few years ago in SA, leaking overturned fuel tanker and people were scooping up the fuel with anything they could lay there hands on.. In a photo, in the background, an African guy smoking..

      AJ2 - 2011-09-13 05:17

      @Bluffbandit - much like the Tanzanian ferry, the lack of safeguarding dangerous areas or adherence to safe operating procedures goes on unchallenged every day, with no one prepared to change the situation, be they potential civilian victims, company officials, or government action. When finally the luck runs out and a horrific tragedy ensues, people throw their hands in the air and lament the awful disaster. I feel for those slum dwellers, probably had nothing much in life up until the moment they died. It should not be happening, we should guard against accidents but prosecute negligence.

  • Rudolph Steenkamp - 2011-09-13 12:01

    A cigarette butt cannot ignite petrol! Retards!

      Harvey - 2011-09-13 12:11

      Spot on - Its a myth perpetuated by the movies.

      Valis - 2011-09-13 13:22

      "Experimenters stress that there are, obviously, circumstances in which a cigarette can start a petrol fire" Hahahahahahaha! Next time try reading your own link, ignoramus.

  • promise-land - 2011-09-13 12:04

    Sad but no suprise. I would like to meet the Investigator that came up with the idea that it was caused by a sigarette butt. Not possible. Open flame: Yes.Be carefull to critisize. Fire Prevention in South Africa is as bad. Have a look at your local Fire department and you will increase your Insurance immediately.

  • Christo Stone - 2011-09-13 12:55

    Wow...this is extremely sad. And all this caused by 1 stupid smoker...

      promise-land - 2011-09-13 14:25

      Yes It is extremely sad! And all this caused by a stupid operator from the fuel company. How do you think people cook in slums? Do you know the difference between alcoholics and a smokers? We do not talk sh@t when we smoke!

  • Jon JJ - 2011-09-13 13:04

    They need Julius Malema to pull them out of the slum...

  • InternetMan - 2011-09-13 13:29

    It's impossible to ignite petrol using a cigarette.

  • pages:
  • 1