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Fire in Downtown Nairobi

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by Ab-Titchaz, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    #1
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    Nakumatt supermarket destroyed

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    Fire destroyed Nakumatt downtown, a supermarket located along Nairobi's Kenyatta Avenue.

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    Fire destroyed Nakumatt supermarket located on Nairobi's Kenyatta Avenue on Wednesday.

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    Smoke engulfed Nairobi's Kimathi Street and Kenyatta Avenue on Wednesday as fire razed Nakumatt Downtown supermarket.

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    Fire-fighters battle with the fire that razed Nairobi's Nakumatt supermarket located along Kenyatta Avenue.


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    Fire destroyed Nakumatt supermarket located on Nairobi's Kenyatta Avenue on Wednesday.

    by CHURCHILL OTIENO

    Wednesday, January 28 2009 at 17:50

    In Summary
    A huge fire has consumed a popular supermarket at the centre of Nairobi resulting in loses worth millions of shillings, dozens of workers injured and the evacuation of several office blocks.

    The fire at Nakumatt Downtown at the corner of Kimathi Street and Kenyatta Avenue gutted the entire building and occasioned a major emergency operation involving several security agencies.​

    The facts so far:

    • Massive fire guts Woolworths Building which houses Nakumatt Downtown. The building next door, known as Alibhai Shariff, is also destroyed.
    • Ambulances rush dozens of the injured to various hospitals.
    • A combined force called in to fight the fire, including: Nairobi City Council Fire Brigade, Kenya Airports Authority fire fighters, G4S Fire Brigade, Kenya Air Force, Securex Fire and Kenya Police among others.
    • The fire started at around 3.45pm (GMT +3) and is still being battled five hours later. Earlier a power transformer had blown. Its now night and the scene of the fire is now ringed by a contingent of the General Service Unit (GSU) as firefighters continue battling it.
    • Gas cylinders on sale at the supermarket and chemicals at a hardware shop in neighbouring Alibhai Shariff Building are thought to have fuelled the inferno.
    • Neighbouring buildings evacuated, including Stanbic Bank, Nation Centre, Nanak Building among others.
    • Repeated blasts heard inside the building on fire.
    • Police on horseback forced to use teargas to push back curious onlookers. Most roads at the city centre are blocked.
    • Several Government officials are at the scene, including Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, Internal Security minister George Saitoti, Nairobi Metropolitan minister Mutula Kilonzo and Police Commissioner Hussein Ali.
    • Traffic jams resulting from the chaos at the centre of the city has affected road users in the outskirts such as Industrial Area, Upper Hill, Thika Road and sections of Westlands.
     
  2. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ijb9yPKrq0&eurl=http://www.nation.co.ke/News/-/1056/520998/-/u1sjyr/-/index.html[/media]
     
  3. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    [​IMG]http://www.eastandard.net/images/thursday/break_29012009_01.jpg

    [​IMG][​IMG]


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  4. M

    Mfumwa JF-Expert Member

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    Hili ni janga kubwa, muhimu tu Mola asaidie isiwepo kupotea maisha kwa raia na pia walioumia wapate nafuu haraka.
     
  5. M

    MzalendoHalisi JF-Expert Member

    #5
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    Wandugu kuna conpiracy activity or ni ajali tu ya kawaida?

    Poleni ndugu!
     
  6. K

    Kokolo JF-Expert Member

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    Insurance-???
     
  7. N

    Namtih58 JF-Expert Member

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    Tuwaombee wenzetu.

    La kusikitisha ni kuwa mabomba ya maji ya wazima moto yalikuwa hayafanyi kazi. Jamani na si kenya tu, lakini afrika tuna tabia ya kutodumisha wala kuboresha miundombinu hadi janga linapo tokea, i wishi Nakumatt wange sue nairobi city council kwa kutodumisha hayo ma fire hydrants.

    Wenzangu wakati umefika ambapo lazima tufahamu kuwa maintenace ni muhimu, usipoziba ufa.......
     
  8. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    Now 34 missing in supermarket fire


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    Firefighters put out sporadic fires at Nakumatt Downtown supermarket on Thursday morning.

    By OLIVER MATHENGEPosted Thursday, January 29 2009 at 09:47

    The latest number of people missing from the Wednesday fire at a Nairobi supermarket has now risen to 34.

    But, the police have said that they are investigating only four cases so far.

    Firefighters on the scene say they are waiting for structural engineers to inspect the building before they go in.

    According to the Kenya Red Cross disaster management manager, Mr Davis Okoko, relatives have reported that 17 males and 17 females are missing.

    The missing persons include two girls aged two and three years old.

    The distressed relatives have told Red Cross workers at a tent erected on Kenyatta Avenue that they cannot locate their kin.

    The humanitarian body has also erected another tent to offer psychosocial counselling to relatives of the missing persons.

    A relative to one of the four workers who were reported missing told the Nation that they last contacted him on Wednesday morning.

    Mr Isaac Maina said they could not reach his younger brother Ezekiel Macharia since the incidence occurred.

    One person has been confirmed dead after he jumped from the burning building on Wednesday onto the street. His family is yet to be contacted and his identity remains unknown.

    Seven other people, including supermarket staff who had been admitted to the Coptic and Avenue Hospitals were treated and discharged, according to Mr Okoko.

    Rescue efforts by the police and the Red Cross have been hampered by intermittent fire in the Woolworths Building.

    Smoke is still billowing from the building and a number of explosions have been heard Thursday morning.

    Firefighters are still at the scene in an attempt to extinguish the fire.

    However, the rescuers have expressed concern that the one storey building was likely to cave in barring them from accessing the building.

    “The first floor of the building has already started collapsing,” one of the firefighters at the scene told the Nation.

    GSU officers called in to put order seem to be facing difficulties in controlling the crowds that are standing metres away from the building.

    Following reports of missing people filed by relatives, there are fears that some shoppers may have been trapped inside the building on Wednesday.

    DAILY NATION - Now 34 missing in supermarket fire
     
  9. M

    Mfumwa JF-Expert Member

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    Kenya store fire death toll rises

    Rescue teams combing the debris of a store destroyed by fire in Nairobi have recovered 13 bodies, officials say.

    A police spokesman said they expected to find more bodies in the charred ruins of the Nakumatt supermarket.

    President Mwai Kibaki has visited the scene, where relatives of nearly 40 missing people are awaiting news.

    Police say they are investigating reports that the store's doors were locked after the blaze broke out. Nakumatt has denied the claims.

    Some witnesses said guards had closed exits at the supermarket to keep out looters when the fire started on Wednesday, police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said.

    Forensic experts and the Kenya Red Cross are still working their way towards the rear of the store where it is believed some staff and customers were trapped.

    Cause unknown

    A BBC correspondent at the scene says sections of the supermarket are still smouldering two days on and the cause of the fire is still unknown.

    Mr Kiraithe said they hoped to soon remove the bodies that had been recovered.

    "The bodies have not been removed yet because we are working on preservation methods. We still believe that there are more bodies inside," he said.

    Kenyan media described scenes of chaos as the supermarket became consumed by fire.

    Some survivors said they escaped by leaping from upstairs windows.

    People said they had received desperate calls from relatives saying they were trapped inside and unable to escape.

    "I came running because I knew my mum was shopping there," said Ishmael Abdul Mohamed, as he watched the rescue operation on Friday.

    "They ordered all doors closed, no-one to enter or leave. I was trying to break the window with a dustbin because my mum and my sister were trapped inside but someone cocked a gun at me."

    Nakumatt has denied that any doors were locked at the time of the blaze.

    A company statement said the store "was fully fire safety compliant and had been installed with advanced fire and smoke detectors".

    Survivor Jeremiah Omoyo, one of the store's 103 employees, told how he jumped off the roof to escape.

    "The crowd below was telling us to jump," he told The Standard newspaper.

    "I jumped, but cannot tell what happened to the others who were screaming behind me."

    Kenyan media criticised the emergency services, saying the response was slow and inadequate.

    "A city like Nairobi with an estimated population of three million is served by one fire station situated close to the central business district where vehicular and pedestrian congestion is particularly heavy," the Daily Nation said.

    "It is fair to say that ours is a modern city with an 18th century fire-fighting infrastructure."
     
  10. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    Survivor claims staff error caused fire


    Updated 6 hr(s) 6 min(s) ago

    By Morton Saulo

    One of the survivors of Nakumatt tragedy claims an error by an employee could have caused the inferno.

    Mr John Harraiyah says the employee opened the lid of a petrol generator that had been put on after lights went out.

    The 29 year-old baker from Eastlands told The Standard on Saturday he was shopping for hand gloves when all hell broke loose

    He said the generator started billowing smoke few minutes later.

    "I was going downstairs when I saw the generator billowing thick black smoke. Then it did not appear that a tragedy was in the offing," he says.

    Harraiyah said the generator was at a corner surrounded by bundles of flour next to a door leading to an exit he presumed led to the main store.

    "While at the stairs, I saw a Nakumatt employee in a blue overall coat bend over the smoking generator and open the lid," he says.

    That’s when hell broke loose.

    "I heard a loud explosion from the generator and the Nakumatt staff was thrown several metres away from the generator," he says.

    By then, he says, parts of the supermarket were already on fire.

    "I headed for the door but a Nakumatt staff held my hand. He demanded to know why I was running out," he told The Standard on Saturday when he visited our offices, yesterday.

    "I told him ‘ the supermarket is on fire can’t you see’ as I struggled to reach the door," he says.

    He claims Nakumatt staff had already closed the doors to prevent people from going out. At that time, he says, shoppers who were on the first floor were already milling at the door.

    " This showed the staff the urgency of leaving the shop," he says.

    Soon after, shoppers in the lower floor followed suit using the exit door but the entrance one was locked from inside.

    "It was human error, I insist since I believe if the employee did not open the generator lid then, the fire could have been contained," he said.

    The Standard | Online Edition :: Survivor claims staff error caused fire
     
  11. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    [​IMG]


    Recovery teams inspect what was left of the Woolworths House, which the Nakumatt supermaket is located after Wednesday's fire.


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    President Kibaki inspects the damage caused by the Wednesday Nakumatt fire .

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    Police Commissioner Hussein Ali takes President Kibaki and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka round when he visited the scene of the Nakumatt fire on Friday.

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    Crime scene investigators go through the debris of the burnt down Nakumatt supermarket on Friday.
     
  12. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    Tales of those who escaped house of death


    Updated 7 hr(s) 13 min(s) ago

    By Standard Team

    Mr Charles Mosomi, a security officer at Nakumatt downtown, is lucky to be alive.

    Mosomi had finished packing deliveries that were later to be sent to the Nation Media Group when the tragedy struck.

    "I had just packed the goods and taken them out to the entrance and they were awaiting delivery when I heard a loud blast inside the supermarket. I rushed back and shouted out for people to evacuate. A cloud of smoke then engulfed the supermarket before a huge fire ball set in," he told The Standard on Saturday.

    Peter Kirima, worked at the till machines as a wrapper. He heard shouts of fire and saw people running out of the supermarket.

    "The other staff were trapped on the upper floor and the fire had blocked the stairs down to the ground floor. I watched them haplessly try to break the ceiling to jump down. Some succeeded, I do not know of the rest," he said.

    Nancy Angela, a student of Mass Communications at the University of Nairobi, had gone to the supermarket to buy a bottle of water with two friends. She then heard one of the staff order people out of the premises.

    Dashing out of supermarket

    "I was confused. I removed my shoes and rushed out and dashed towards the I & M bank building. I met one of my friend but we are yet to find out where the other one is," she says.

    Her colleague, Elizabeth Anyangu had gone to buy ice cream. She was queuing at the counter to pay when they were ordered to get out of the premises.

    "Power went off briefly and the generator was put on. Suddenly we heard a loud explosion and we were told to vacate the building. We struggled out of the door as we ran for our lives. The queues on the various counters were relatively long. I do not know whether all of us managed to escape," she said. Their colleague, a First Year student at the university, who had gone to buy a book, cannot be accounted for.

    Samuel Kipchirchir, 47, is lucky to be alive after he escaped with a broken thighbone.

    The father of two had gone to the ill-fated supermarket to withdraw money from an M-Pesa point and shop for his family based in Nanyuki.

    "I was with two other people and we were moving out when suddenly we heard a loud bang followed by screams and shouts of ‘fire fire fire’ from the supermarket," he recalls from his hospital bed at Kenyatta National Hospital.

    "In the confusion, people started running towards the main exit…I trampled and fell on my left side as more people fell on me as they fled," he said.

    He is the only victim still admitted at the hospital as others were treated and discharged.

    The Standard | Online Edition :: Tales of those who escaped house of death
     
  13. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    ‘Cobra Squad’ actress feared dead


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    Angel Wainaina


    Updated 7 hr(s) 19 min(s) ago

    By James Ratemo

    Angel Wainaina, a key actress in the movie Cobra Squad is feared to have perished in the Nakumatt Downtown tragedy. Famously known as Sergeant Maria, the actress who was also a journalist at Ghetto FM has been missing since the tragedy and experts have traced her last cell phone call to the doomed supermarket.

    "We are crossing our fingers…she has just vanished…we hope for the best but fear the worst since she has been missing from her home and work place," said Government Spokesman, Dr Alfred Mutua.

    Mutua, who is also the executive producer of Cobra Squad, described Wainaina as a dedicated actor and a darling in the acting fraternity.

    "Last time her mobile phone was used was in the supermarket. This is a big shock not only to the Cobra Squad team and me but also the acting fraternity.

    "She was easy to work with," said Mutua. He said the fire tragedy was a shocker to the country and all people found guilty either due to commission or omission will be punished.

    "We are very sorry for all those who have lost their loved ones, It is very disturbing to the Government…we will fully investigate and punish those responsible," said Mutua

    The Standard | Online Edition :: ‘Cobra Squad’ actress feared dead
     
  14. Nyaralego

    Nyaralego JF-Expert Member

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    This is not the first time an Indian owned business gets burned down with people inside.
    Je mnakumbuka the Industrial Area fire where the workers were locked in the premise and alot of the got burned vibaya sana!!!?
    Is it a habit OR what?
     
  15. M

    MzalendoHalisi JF-Expert Member

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    Our prayers kwa ndugu zetu wote waliopoteza maisha yao!

    Sisi kama jirani zenu Tanzania tunawapenda na kuwaombea!

    RIP
     
  16. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    Thats exactly where the problem lies.Jamaa wanatengeza biashara lakini
    wanakiuka kanuni zilizoandikwa na tume la jiji la Nairobi.As it is, kama guys
    can sue kuna a very big lawsuit coming.Lakini as it is, Govt officials' hands
    will be 'greased', cases wil drag in CJ Gicheru's law courts and justice will
    be delayed and denied if I may.These unscrupulous businessmen abound in
    Nairobi and the Govt of the day s playing bedmates with them at the expense
    of the lives of innocent Kenyans.

    Kenyan citizens especially those working in Industrial area and these
    mega-markets should insist on their facilities being inspected by authorities
    and cleared...For it is a sham to work in unsafe areas for cheap pay and risk
    of your own liife.Kisha the Govt needs to be held accountable.Meanwhile read
    what the Mayor of Nairob said about the day they came to inpest the facilty... READ...
    Imagine the city council offcials were turned away!!!!
     
  17. Nyaralego

    Nyaralego JF-Expert Member

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    I hear you!!! unyanyasaji by a few people who want make large sums of money quickly at the expense of local people.
    Kwanza huyo spokeman on NTV unge dhani anaongea kihindi ...ni wale wanakuja Kenya from india to take up jobs(while Kenyans who are better qualified are languishing) while in India one cannot do the same!!

    Totally unacceptable...

    The people who are accountable are on the "take". This fire disaster is not the last one many more are coming...until one big shot loses a loved one, nothing will be done...
    where is Michuki when you need him?
     
  18. M

    Mfumwa JF-Expert Member

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    Nakumatt, Kenya; waliokufa sasa ni 24

    Imeandikwa na mwandishi wa BBC

    Idadi ya waliokufa katika moto mkubwa ulioteketeza duka la Nakumatt mjini Nairobi imeongezeka na kufikia watu 24, baada ya miili mitatu zaidi kupatikana siku ya Jumamosi.

    Habari hizi ni kulingana na kundi la uokozi la shirika la Msalaba Mwekundi nchini Kenya.

    Kulingana na msemaji wa shirika hilo, Titus Mung'ou, walifanikiwa kuupata mwili mmoja, na vile vile miili ya mama na mtoto mchanga.

    Miili 23 imepatikana katika vifusi vya jengo hilo, na mtu mwingine alifariki kutokana na majeraha aliyoyapata baada ya kuruka chini kutoka jengo hilo la ghorofa, akijaribu kuepuka moto huo ulioanza Jumatano iliyopita.

    Juhudi za kuwaokoa watu zimekuwa zikiendelea polepole mno, kutokana na wasiwasi wa kuporomoka jengo hilo, huku jamaa za wale ambao hawajapatikana zikiezeka kambi na kusubiri karibu na hapo.

    Kati ya wale inahofiwa walifariki katika moto huo, ni pamoja na Peter Serry, kocha wa zamani wa timu ya taifa ya Kenya, Harambee Stars.

    Akizungumza na BBC, Ulimwengu wa Soka, meneja wa klabu ya Tusker, James Nandwa, alielezea namna akiwa na Serry, ambaye pia alikuwa ni afisa mkuu wa klabu ya Tusker, waliweza kusikia mlipuko mkubwa, na baadaye yeye akanusurika, huku ikiaminika mwenzake aliangamia katika moto huo.

    Nandwa, ambaye zamani alikuwa mchezaji wa Harambee Stars, alikuwa amefika katika duka hilo kuwanunulia wachezaji magodoro na blanketi.

    Baadhi ya walioshuhudia moto huo wanasema watu wengi hawakuweza kutoka ndani ya jengo kutokana na milango kufungwa, lakini meneja wa Nakumatt wamekanusha madai hayo.

    Bado haijafahamika moto huo ulianze vipi.
     
  19. Exaud J. Makyao

    Exaud J. Makyao JF-Expert Member

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    MZALENDO,
    Ajabu ni kwamba mimi nilisikiliza LIVE hotuba ya CEO wa NAKUMATT, mara tu moto ulipozimwa.Alisema watu wote waliokuwa ndani walitoka salama,
    ila jana tumesikia kwamba watu zaidi ya 17 walifia ndani.
     
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