At least nine people have died and 60 others rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital after a Thursday dawn fire at Gikomba Market in Nairobi.
St John’s Ambulance said it had by 7 am evacuated up to 40 people from the scene. “At least 40 casualties [were] evacuated by St John Ambulance following a huge fire that gutted part of residential and market sections of Gikomba,” said the emergency service provider. They were taken to hospitals for attention. Witnesses said some of them were trying to salvage their valuables.
More than 70 people were injured in the blaze, which broke out in the middle of the night destroying many properties.
Police say they are yet to establish the cause of the fire and that efforts to do so are ongoing. The fire broke out at 2.30 am and spread fast to nearby residential houses. Many of the victims were chocked by smoke. This is not the first time that the market stalls have been razed.
The Gikomba is one of the largest open-air markets in the city and fires there are frequent, leading to speculation about possible arson attacks, frequent Gikomba fires have raised eyebrows are wryly called “ The Annual Gikomba Market Fire Festival.”