A fire has swept one of Nairobi’s largest open-air markets, killing 15 and sending 70 injured to hospitals, Kenyan officials have reported.
Nairobi County Commissioner Kangethe Thuku said six bodies have been recovered and nine are stuck in a building and must be retrieved.
Rescue teams are searching for more bodies and survivors in the Gikomba market, in the Pumwani low-income neighborhood in Kenya’s capital city.
Many Kenyans shop for second-hand clothes from the Gikomba market which also supplies other vendors with the used clothes from Europe and the United States.
The Gikomba is one of the largest open-air markets in the city and fires there are frequent, leading to speculation about possible arson attacks.
However, the cause of the current fire is not yet known.
The St John Ambulance service said the fire broke out at 02:30 local time (23:30 GMT on Wednesday) and spread to apartments and market stalls before being contained after about 90 minutes.
Some of the victims were burned while others inhaled poisonous fumes as they tried to salvage their property.
Hospital officials said there were four children among the dead.