Pipeline Explodes in Kenya Slum, Leaving Sea of Bodies

Explosion may have been caused by cigarette butt
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2011 8:23 AM CDT
Updated Sep 12, 2011 9:10 AM CDT
A person injured in a gasoline pipeline incident is brought to Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.   (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
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(Newser) – More than 100 people are dead after a pipeline explosion in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, which is believed to have been ignited by a cigarette butt thrown into an open sewer that fuel was leaking into, the BBC reports. Dozens of other victims have been taken to hospitals, and many are burned beyond recognition, according to an ambulance service spokesperson. The pipeline runs through a heavily populated slum, and residents say homes had been built right up next to it, the AP adds.

The sewer where the cigarette butt was allegedly thrown had been filling with fuel from a leaking tank, leading people to rush over and collect the leaking fuel. Reporters and locals say charred bodies and body parts were scattered some 1,000 feet around the explosion site, and that bodies were also seen floating in a sewage-filled river nearby. Some residents said they doused themselves in the river after catching fire.

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