Dozens Killed in Nairobi Pipeline Explosion

Posted September 12th, 2011 at 8:50 am (UTC-5)
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Witnesses in Kenya's capital say dozens of people have been killed by a gasoline pipeline explosion.

Nairobi police officials say 61 bodies have been recovered so far but they expect the death toll to rise.

More than 100 burn victims were taken to local hospitals after the pipeline exploded Monday in the densely populated Sinai slum.

The blast left charred bodies in the streets and in a nearby stream, where many people jumped trying to extinguish flames on their clothing and hair.

Flames from the blast also burned down some nearby buildings and shacks.

Witnesses say the pipeline that exploded had been leaking, and that people had gone to the site to scoop up fuel. Police suspect a cigarette set off the explosion.

Such accidents are not uncommon in Africa, where pipeline leaks and tanker truck crashes often draw crowds of people trying to collect free fuel.

In 2009, at least 120 people were killed in western Kenya when an overturned tanker truck caught fire.