When an oil pipeline burst on the outskirts of Nairobi Monday, men, women, and children from the nearby slum ran to the spill with buckets to collect the valuable leaking fuel. Then a sudden change in wind blew embers from a garbage fire into the spill, igniting the oil and killing at least 100 people. Oil spills are not uncommon in the area, and people generally respond by gathering the spillover. “It’s dangerous, but that’s how life is here,” one resident tells The New York Times. Still, the disaster is not without precedent: in 2009, 113 people died after gathering around an overturned oil tanker, which then exploded.
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