News Brief
Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

"Worst Fire in Modern New York City History" Claims Gambians Amongst 19 Dead

Over 200 firefighters battled the deadly fire, Sunday morning, in New York City's 'Bronx' borough.

A fire in the Bronx, New York City has claimed 19 lives — many of whom were Muslim Immigrants from West African nation Gambia. New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro gave news of the nine children killed, and 63 people injured by "severe smoke inhalation" in a news conference on Sunday, with 32 in life-threatening conditions, sent across New York City's five boroughs. The deadly fire broke out Sunday morning because of a malfunctioning space heater.

Gambian Ambassador to the United States Sheikh Omar Faye said, "We are a small country of less than 2 million people. We are all related, everybody knows everybody. So, our country is currently in state of shock," in New York City on Sunday.

In what has been deemed New York City's deadliest fire in 30 years, the blaze broke out Sunday morning, and filled the high-rise apartment building with thick smoke. Residents trapped in their homes broke windows for air, and stuffed wet towels under doors as smoke rose from an apartment below where the fire first broke out. Survivors spoke of panic while attempting to flee by shuffling through darkened hallways and stairs, barely able to breathe. According to the Associate Press, evacuees surfaced from the smoke filled building covered in soot.

The Fire Commissioner spoke of how firefighters found victims on each apartment floor, many experiencing cardiac and respiratory arrest - some not being able to escape because of the volume of the work, he said.

Around 200 firefighters battled the five-alarm blaze, which spread because a door in the two-level second-floor unit where the blaze started was either left open or did not automatically close after residents fled, the Fire Commissioner deduced.

A GoFundMe Page has been created by a local community to aid the families of those lost to the tragic event.

Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

Nigerian Prophet And Televangelist TB Joshua Dies

The influential preacher and televangelist died shortly after wrapping up a sermon at his church in Lagos, on the evening of June 5.

On Sunday June 6, the world woke up to news of the passing of charismatic preacher and televangelist Temitope Balogun Joshua, better known as TB Joshua. The 57-year-old died, of unknown causes, a week before his 58th birthday. Joshua died on Saturday evening, June 5, shortly after concluding a sermon at his Lagos church, where his last words to the congregation were: "Watch and pray!"

Joshua was the founder and leader of the The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, (SCOAN), a Christian megachurch which included the Emmanuel TV television station in Lagos, Nigeria. "God has taken His servant Prophet TB Joshua home – as it should be by divine will. His last moments on earth were spent in the service of God. This is what he was born for, lived for and died for," SCOAN said in a written statement published on Facebook. SCOAN added," Prophet TB Joshua leaves a legacy of service and sacrifice to God's Kingdom that is living for generations yet unborn."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Somalia Has Announced It Will Grant 'Outstanding' Somali Diasporans the Hodan Nalayeh Award

The new and annual prize has been established in honor of the journalist and founder of Interactive TV who was recently killed in an attack in Somalia.

Hodan Nalayeh, Journalist and Founder of Integration TV, Has Been Killed In Hotel Attack In Somalia

Somali officials say Al-Shabab was behind the gunfire and bomb attack on a hotel in southern Somalia where journalists and politicians are among the dead.

Talking About Us: Here's What Major Media Outlets Are Covering on Africa

A monthly series dedicated to reviewing recent feature stories on Africa from some of the biggest publications out there that we think deserve a look.

'Chimurenga Chronic' Pan-African Gazette [Review]

'Chimurenga Chronic,' is a new quarterly Pan-African gazette featuring new voices in the latest art, opinion, photography and African news.


CNN On Zambia's 'Rebellious' Youth Cultures

CNN's series 'Inside Africa' looks at the growing skateboarding and tattoo scenes in Zambia, but the video is almost as condescending as it is informative.