NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 21 – Police have commenced a probe into a suspected arson incident after at least 50 students from Nairobi’s Ofafa Jericho High School were hospitalized on Monday night after they suffered carbon inhalation following a fire incident.
The students were said to have attempted to salvage their belongings from a dormitory which caught fight.
The incident reported at Jogoo Police Station was said to have occurred at about 8pm.
School Principal Peter Auma said the neighboring community could have played a role in the incident after it emerged that a student, identified as the key suspect, sneaked back to the dormitory during the evening preps.
The Metropolitan Hospital in Buruburu, where the students were admitted, said none of the casualties were in imminent danger with most serious cases requiring monitoring for a few more days.
A probe team from the police service moved to secure the scene on Monday after initial indications that the fire could have been a deliberate act of arson by some students.
Another fire that broke out at Sigalame High School in Busia was contained after it burnt down a dormitory.
Kenyan boarding schools have faced increasing cases of unrest with nearly 100 arson cases reported in 2016.
In 2017, an investigation on a fire incident that claimed the lives of nine girls at Nairobi’s Moi Girls High School reveal that the incident was an arson.
“Most of the investigations are done and I can tell you unequivocally – I have been briefed by the police – that it was not an accident,” Fred Matiangi, then Education Cabinet Secretary, told a press conference in Nairobi.
The Monday incident at Ofafa Jericho High School is the fourth with three others having been reported on July 27, a day after schools resumed learning for term one, on August 10 and a third one on August 25.