Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his sorrow and sympathy for the families of the victims of a petrol pipeline explosion in a dense Nairobi slum on Monday which claimed scores of lives and left many injured.
Rescue workers at the scene of a deadly petrol pipeline explosion in Nairobi, Kenya
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban extended his sympathies to the Government and people of Kenya.
"He also wishes a full and speedy recovery to the survivors," the statement said.
The explosion occurred in the city's Lunga Lunga industrial area, along a petrol pipeline which runs through the densely populated Sinai slum between the city ad the airport. Media reports quoted the Red Cross as saying at least 75 bodies had been recovered. Other reports put the toll at more than 100 dead, with at least 110 people were injured, many with severe burns.
Reports suggest the blast may have been sparked by a cigarette butt being thrown into an open sewer that was filling with fuel which leaked into a storm drain from the Nairobi-Mombasa pipeline, the Kenya Pipeline Company said in a statement. Residents said the spill had prompted many people to rush and collect the leaking fuel.
Parts of bodies littered the remains of burning shacks for some 300m (1,000ft) around the site of the blast, locals said.
Some of the shacks were built on top of the pipeline, residents say.
Nairobi hosts the Africa headquarters of the United Nations, home to UN-HABITAT and its sister agency, UNEP, the UN Environment Programme.
"The United Nations stands in solidarity with the people of Kenya at this difficult moment," the statement said.
At the same time, UN-HABITAT Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos has also sent a message of condolences following the tragic fire.
"On behalf of UN-HABITAT, I wish to express my deep condolences to the Government and people of Kenya and the families of those who were victims of Monday's fire, and my hopes for a speedy recovery to those who were injured. As our host country, UN-HABITAT feels a profound connection to the people of Kenya and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.
Unfortunately, disasters like the one we saw in Nairobi this week, remind us all that we need to speed up our efforts to better the conditions for people living in slums. Above all we need to commit to urban planning and design that provides public space, safe and reliable energy supply and basic services for all."