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Usiku kama mchana! Actress Gloria Moraa shares horrific experience of Embakasi gas explosion

By Winnie Mabel February 2nd, 2024 2 min read

It was a night of horror in Embakasi, a Nairobi suburb when explosions occurred at a gas-filling plant around midnight, on February 1, 2024.

The plant is nestled in a highly populated residential area including informal settlements and next to Nyayo Estate.

Several people living in the vicinity of the explosion ground zero have been sharing their experiences and among them is renowned actress Gloria Moraa who gained fame in the long-running local television show, Tahidi High.

According to Ms Moraa, she thought it was the second coming of Christ judging by the magnitude of the explosion and the sounds emitted.

“So I have tucked the boys and I am actually in bed. My pal calls “uko home (are you at home)?” I say yes. anapitia (they are coming) and I remember I forgot to order for drinking water. Namwambia anipeleke quickmatt nibuy maji.sisi haoooo.sijui hapa ndio mtu husema kidogo kifo imuite…(I asked my pal to accompany me to the supermarket to buy water and as we walked along…I don’ know if this is the part people say that it remained just a little time before death sent for us).

We pass by the petrol station at my pal’s shop, and kidogo shortly someone says….naona wamama na watoi wengi hapa down wanakimbia tu (I’m just seeing many women and children running). I step out of the shop to see the women and children….they are all over the place plus motorbikes ati kuna moto hapo nyuma (they say there is a fire behind them).The next thing I see is the night has turned to day….mimi nilijua kumbe Jesus vile alisema anakuja kama thief(I knew that how Jesus said he would come like a thief), he meant it. Truly the day is here.

We are running all over trying to call each other, yaani it was helter skelter.Women,men,kids of all ages from 0….it was traumatizing. My feet are still shaking from the ordeal. The pain of seeing women holding babies, wengine bila nguo, wengine na tuvest (some without clothes, others in vests only) was something else. Yaani sijalala hata one second, watu wamelala nje (I haven’t slept a wink. Others slept outside). May God be with the affected families. It is sad,” narrated Ms Moraa.

According to the Government Spokesperson, a gas tank on an unregistered lorry ignited and exploded, and a flying gas cylinder fell into a go-down that deals in garments and textiles, hence the huge fireball witnessed.

“Consequently, the inferno further damaged several vehicles and commercial properties, including many small and medium sized businesses. Sadly, residential houses in the neighborhood also caught fire, with a good number of residents still inside as it was late at night.

As a result, two fellow Kenyans have regrettably lost their lives while being attended to at the Nairobi West Hospital. The government sends its most sincere to the families of the departed souls. In addition, 222 other Kenyans were injured by the fire, and have been rushed to various hospitals as follows: 21 at the Kenyatta National Hospital, 160 at Mama Lucy General Hospital, 19 at Mbagathi Hospital, 14 at Modern Komarock Hospital, and 8 at Nairobi West Hospital,” said Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura.

The explosion continues to be linked to an alleged illegal gas refilling plant situated in the same place where the tragedy occurred.

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