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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 July 2018

Fifteen killed and dozens injured in Nairobi market blaze

Emergency services continue to search the area for survivors

Emergency services work at the scene after a fire swept through a marketplace in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. AP Photo
Emergency services work at the scene after a fire swept through a marketplace in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. AP Photo

A fire at Nairobi's Gikomba market killed 15 people on Thursday, less than a year after a blaze to destroyed much of the Kenyan capital's largest open-air market.

"We have lost 15 people from this tragedy this morning," said Kangethe Thuku, a government official. "We're yet to establish the cause of this fire."

The blaze is believed to have started in a timber yard. It left more than 70 people injured and destroyed many of the market's wood and tarp stalls where second-hand clothes, shoes and vegetables are sold on the eastern side of the city.

A police officer said emergency services continued to search the area.

"We are still trying to get to some corner [of the market] which has heavy smoke, because part of the area has not been accessed due to live electric wires," he said.

Witnesses heard explosions as gas canisters were swept up in the inferno.

Nine of the dead were in an apartment block next to the market while six others - including four children - died of their injuries in hospital.

A large fire destroyed much of the market in October last year.

More to follow