7 Dead in Eastleigh Blast

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A Kenyan policeman walks past the matatu which exploded in Eastleigh on Sunday.

More than 30 people have been admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital following a minibus explosion in Eastleigh, a Somali neighbourhood in Nairobi, Kenya which left seven people dead on Sunday.

Confirming the number of the casualties taken to the emergency unit, KNH chief executive officer Richard Lesiyampe said most of them were in critical condition but had been stabilised.

He said three of the victims have been taken in for minor surgery due to excess bleeding as a new ward was set up to cater for the new admissions.

“Those who are in critical condition are now going through X-Rays, and scanning to ascertain the extent of their injuries. Those who will require operation this night will be done. Most of the casualties have got burns and we also have a few who have sustained fractures,” Lesiyampe told journalists outside at the Accident and Emergency unit at the hospital.

He said the facility received substantial amount of blood from the National Blood Transfusion Centre to help those who were in need.

“We are still doing everything possible to save the lives of those who have arrived at Kenyatta National Hospital. We wish to confirm to the public that we have enough and competent staff. We have enough consumables, and we will do our best to ensure the health of all the injured is restored,” the CEO assured.

Nairobi Police Chief Moses Nyakwama said the blast occurred on a “matatu”, or local minibus, in the district of Eastleigh, where mainly Somalis or Kenyans of Somali origin live and which has been the target of other attacks in recent weeks.

“The information we have is that there were about 25 people in the bus. It looks like it is an improvised explosive device that was thrown in it,” he said. “It occurred at a congested place so even people passing by got injured.”

Briefing Journalists earlier, the Nairobi emergency operations officer at the Kenya Red Cross Nicholas Thuo said most of the injured were men.

“Most of the casualties we have here are the passengers who were inside the matatu. Out of 29 people we have received here so far, 26 are male and only two female,” said Thuo.

Water assistant minister Ferdinand Waititu was among those who visited the wounded and condemned the act calling on the law enforcers to deal with those involved.

He however called on locals not to engage in any violence but to leave the matter to the police and investigators.

Out of the 34 at the hospital, four casualties were those injured after chaos erupted among locals protesting against the act.

“I would urge the relevant agencies to abolish the issue of having public vehicles with tinted windows. We would want everyone to see and know who is in any matatu,” Waititu said.

AP

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