At least three people were killed and more than 250 injured in a massive fire when a truck laden with gas exploded in Kenya's capital Nairobi on Thursday night, news agency Reuters reported.
The explosion, ignited a "huge ball of fire that spread widely", government spokesperson Isaac Maigua Mwaura wrote on X. The incident, which was caught on camera, took place in the Embakasi neighbourhood in the southeast of the capital.
Visuals shared by social media users and local news agencies showed a huge fireball close to several homes.
"Consequently, the inferno further damaged several vehicles and commercial properties, including many small and medium-sized businesses," he said, adding that “residential houses in the neighbourhood also caught fire, with a good number of residents still inside as it was late at night.”
Mwaura said the scene of the incident has been secured and a command centre set up to help with rescue efforts.
"The scene has now been secured and a command center is now in place to help coordinate rescue operations and other intervention efforts," Mwaura was quoted as saying by AFP.
While the government spokesperson claimed that over 200 were injured in the incident, the Kenya Red Cross put the number at nearly 300.
A local resident near the explosion site told AFP that the entire building that he was in began to shake by a huge tremor.
"We were in the house and heard a huge explosion," James Ngoge, who lives across the street from where the fire broke out, told AFP. The whole building was shaken by a huge tremor, it felt like it was going to collapse. At first, we didn't even know what was happening, it was like an earthquake."
According to the Associated Press, the proximity of the industrial company to residences raised questions about the enforcement of the city's plans.
Officials at the county government have been accused of taking bribes to overlook building codes and regulations.