Horror in Kenya: 58 children burnt to death

Early this morning, a horrific incident took place in the town of Machakos, 64 kilometres from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, in which 58 boys were burnt to death in a suspected arson attack on a school. The boys were sleeping in one of the school’s dormitories when allegedly petrol bombs were thrown through the windows. Unconfirmed reports speak of the boys being sprayed with petrol from a window before the dormitory was set alight. The boys are believed to be young teenagers. 130 boys were sleeping in the dormitory when the tragedy occurred but 72 of them managed to escape through windows. As is usually the case in such tragedies, the victims died from smoke inhalation and toxic fumes before their bodies were burnt, scant consolation for the families. Apart from the 58 dead, there are reportedly 8 injured, six of whom seriously. Statistically, 10% of seriously injured people die, which may indicate one further victim. Whether the reports about petrol being sprayed are true or not, it is a fact that the dormitory did not have sufficient exit points for the boys. One exit was apparently blocked, whether on purpose or not it is too early to say. Negligence where the care of minors is involved is tantamount to a crime and criminal activity against minors, be it arson, assault or sexual crimes is the lowest a human being can descend to, if indeed the adjective “human” can be applied.


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