Large blast in Kenyan capital

Large blast in Kenyan capital

An apparent explosion ripped through a building full of small shops in the downtown area of Kenyan capital Nairobi today, wounding an unknown number of people.

The force of the blast ripped apart the one-story building's aluminium roof, but a high-rise building with a glass exterior right next to the blast did not appear to sustain major damage.

There was no immediate word on casualties or what caused the blast.

People with bloody wounds received medical care immediately after the blast, as authorities tried to usher hundreds of people in the street away from the scene.

TV images showed thick black smoke billowing out of the building in the moments after the blast. The smoke then turned white.

Al-Shabab militants from neighbouring Somalia have long threatened to carry out substantial attacks in Kenya following its decision last October to send troops into Somalia to pursue al-Shabab militants.

Kenya has suffered a series of grenade attacks in recent months, but today's blast appeared to have been caused by something larger than a grenade.

The building that was attacked housed a series of small stalls. Items for sale in the shops - like shoes and clothes - were scattered on the ground after the blast.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said at least 16 people were wounded. He could not immediately say what caused the blast.

Another high-ranking police official said there were no obvious signs that the blast was caused by a terrorist's bomb.

No ball bearings or nails - lethal shrapnel packed into bombs - were found, and officials were investigating the possibility that a faulty electrical line caused the explosion.

"Let me not speculate this is a terrorist attack. It could be a wire fault," said Orwa Ojode, assistance minister for internal security.

More in this Section

Trump backs away from military threatTrump backs away from military threat

Child given plasma in coronavirus treatment trialChild given plasma in coronavirus treatment trial

Canada’s Trudeau pauses when asked about Trump clearing protestersCanada’s Trudeau pauses when asked about Trump clearing protesters

Joe Biden sweeps seven US presidential primariesJoe Biden sweeps seven US presidential primaries


Kim Sheehan is an opera singer from Crosshaven, Co Cork, and is this year’s recipient of the Jane Anne Rothwell Award from Cork Midsummer Festival.A Question of Taste: Cork opera singer, Kim Sheehan

Developed in Ireland by Dublin-based indie gaming house Dreamfeel, If Found follows university graduate Kasio as she returns to Achill, Co Mayo, from the big city.'If Found': a story of belonging from the Irish videogame scene

B-Side the Leeside: Cork's Greatest Records - Giordaí Ua Laoghaire tells Don O’Mahony about the offbeat outfit who created some of the most innovative music on the Irish scene in the 1990sB-Side the Leeside: Nine Wassies from Bainne - A quirky slice of creativity

More time indoors is a chance to consider how we buy for our homes without being slaves to fleeting trends, writes Carol O’CallaghanMore time at home offers a chance to consider how we buy for our interiors

More From The Irish Examiner