Four injured as boat catches fire at Ras Kiamboni on Kenya-Somalia border

Four Kenyans were on Friday injured critically after the boat they were travelling in caught fire at Ras Kiamboni on the Kenya-Somalia border on Friday.

Lamu County Disaster Management and Peace Building Director Shee Kupi confirmed the incident, noting that the fire was caused by a jerrican of petrol that was being ferried in the boat.

The container leaked and petrol spread in the entire vessel, resulting in the explosion.

Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers responded promptly to the accident and took the casualties for first aid at the Ras Kiamboni military base before they were evacuated to the Lamu King Fahd County Referral Hospital where they are undergoing further treatment.

Kupi thanked the KDF and the county disaster management team for their cooperation in ensuring the lives of the victims of the fire accident were saved.

The sailors in the ill-fated boat suffered serious limbs and chest burns.

“I can confirm that four people have suffered serious injuries after their vessel burnt at Ras Kiamboni village in Somalia. The fire was caused by a petrol spillage. So far the victims’s condition has been stabilized. I thank the KDF and the entire county disaster management team and the devolved government for the swift coordination in ensuring those injured are rushed to hospital,” said Mr Kupi.

He added, “The successful coordination of cross-border humanitarian evacuation is as a result of the committed peace-building initiatives between Kiunga communities in Kenya and Ras Kiamboni in Somalia. These ties are geared towards securing our borders.”

This is not the first time a boat has burst into flames and injured people in Lamu.

In February 2020, a man was seriously injured after a boat he was in caught fire on Lamu Island.

Shafi Mawiyawiya escaped with serious burns on his left leg and hand after the petrol-powered boat which was parked in one of the yards exploded in an incident believed to have been caused by a cigarette.

Shafi Mawiyawiya escaped with serious burns on his left leg and hand after the petrol-powered boat which was parked in one of the yards exploded in an incident believed to have been caused by a cigarette.

On his side, Lamu County Boat Operators Association Chairman Hassan Awadh asked coxswains and even passengers to avoid any incidents that risk their lives while travelling on boats and dhows.

Awadh cautioned sailors against smoking while travelling in boats and dhows, most of which use petrol-propelled engines.

“As I usually say, let’s avoid careless behaviours like smoking while travelling in a boat whose engine is powered by petrol. If we avoid those acts, we will be able to effectively curb such unnecessary accidents and even deaths,” said Mr Awadh.

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