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Victim of Sinai fire faints in court during testimony

A victim of Sinai fire tragedy fainted in court on Monday as he gave evidence in a compensation case filed by Nairobi senator Mike Sonko.

Mr Joseph Mwai seemed to have been overcome by emotions when he was showing the court scars on his body as a result of the fire before he fainted.

The witness was immediately carried out of the court by the Sinai residents who had packed the courtroom to hear the case.

The incident disrupted court proceedings as the Mr Justice David Majanja was forced to adjourn the matter.

Mr Majanja directed the petitioner’s lawyer Ms Lydia Kwamboka to meet with the Deputy Registrar of the court to make provision of health professionals to attend court terming the matter as emotional.

In his evidence before fainting, the witness said on September 12 2011 while at home he heard an explosion before his house caught fire.

Despite his presence in court Mr Sonko could not testify as the video evidence he was to rely had to be accompanied by a certificate, which was not in court.

During the last hearing of the case, the senator blamed government officials for loss of lives and destruction occasioned by the 2011 Sinai fire incident.

The senator, , said the fire was as a result of negligence on the part of the officials.

“The government did not do its part in repairing the gasket,” said Mr Sonko adding that he was alerted of the incident at around 10am on September 12 2011.

Mr Sonko who was the Makadara Member of Parliament at the time said he contacted emergency services among them the fire brigade personnel.

“I arrived at the scene half an hour after being called, the situation was not good, there were bodies of people around,” said Mr Sonko.

The senator said there are over 40,000 residents in Sinai and that had the government made efforts to service an oil pipeline, the incident would not have happened.

Mr Sonko said the road leading to the slums is not in good condition hence the fire engines had difficult time accessing the area during the 2011 incident.

The senator was stood down after the respondents said they had not been given video clips of the incident he intended to use as evidence of the case.

Mr Sonko filed the case seeking compensation for the 103 people who perished in the fire which occurred in 2011 from the suspected spillage of highly inflammatory discharge.

He is also asking the court to compensate over 300 people who suffered injuries and the rest are those who suffered loss when their businesses were licked by tongues of fire.

The case will be heard on Wednesday.