NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 13 – As police, social workers and officials from the Kenya Red Cross returned to the Sinai pipeline explosion scene on Tuesday morning to search for bodies of the dead, a young boy caught the eye of the Capital News crew.
The eight-year-old boy sat in a daze by the river bank as Red Cross officials took away bodies of those who were incinerated in the Monday morning inferno.
His father, John Karanja, was caught up in the fire that left more than 100 dead and young Edward does not know his fate.
As he sat nursing visible burn wounds on his legs, he prayed that his father was among those who survived or at least those still recuperating in hospital.
The lad was still confused on Tuesday morning. He could not explain to our crew where he spent the night.
“My father had gone to get fuel. I have not seen him since then. I have been told he is in hospital,” Edward said of his father.
“Why did someone start the fire to burn people? I just want to see my dad,” he said, staring blankly into space.
“I lived alone with him in our house but my mother is away with two of my siblings. I only stay with my dad,” the boy said before he was taken away by officials of the Child Welfare Society of Kenya.
“The boy’s story of how he escaped the massive fire is very moving; we have spoken to him and we are now taking him to give him assistance,” Senior Social Worker Josephine Kimanthi said.
The society is also taking care of two other children who were separated from their parents.
The Kenya Red Cross put the number of dead at 87 after the fire broke out in the slum as dwellers siphoned fuel from a Kenya Pipeline Company pipe that burst on Monday.