by Akintomiwa Agbaje
Kenya’s largest slum area, Kibera today experienced first hand a train crash which plunged into makeshift homes with an unknown number of residents reportedly trapped in.
A statement by the Kenyan Red Cross said cargo train derailed into a sprawling shanty and “One patient has been evacuated … scores are feared trapped,”.
Joseph Kamau, the Minister of Transport, who was at the scene of the accident told journalists that six injured people had been taken to hospital.
The Vanguard reports:
“The rescue efforts are underway, we cannot talk of the number of those injured at the moment,” Nairobi Police chief Benson Kibue told AFP.
One of Africa’s largest slums, Kibera’s tin-roofed shacks are home to an estimated quarter of a million people, according to an NGO that carried out a population study there.
Kamau said the government has long warned the residents of Kibera not to put up houses right next to the railway, which crosses the settlement.
“We have always warned people against encroaching on the line,” he said.