Nairobi — At least two people were killed and more than 200 injured in a massive fire when a truck laden with gas exploded in the Kenyan capital, a government spokesman said Friday.
The explosion ignited a "huge ball of fire that spread widely", Isaac Maigua Mwaura said on social media platform X.
"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."
At least two people died from their injuries and another 222 were rushed to various hospitals in the capital, the government spokesman said.
Earlier, the Kenya Red Cross had reported nearly 300 injured.
The fire broke out Thursday night in the Embakasi neighbourhood southeast of the capital.
Images broadcast by local media showed a huge fireball close to several homes.
"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.
"I have a business on the road that was completely destroyed."
Many of the area's residents spent the night outside, an AFP journalist observed.
Police have cordoned off the affected area, but some people could be seen collecting their belongings and surveying the damage.
"The scene has now been secured and a command center is now in place to help coordinate rescue operations and other intervention efforts," said Mwaura.