Eight students have died and dozens others injured after a fire burnt down a dormitory at Moi Girls School Nairobi, county commander Japhet Koome confirms.
Earlier, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i had said 10 other students were injured and are admitted to hospital.
“Out of the 10, two are in critical condition, doctors have told us the other eight are out of danger,” he said.
At least 10 students have been listed as missing at the Kenya Red Cross information desk at the school.
He said the school has been closed for two weeks as investigations begin on the cause of the fire.
The CS however said Form Four candidates will resume on Friday and will be assisted to settle as they prepare for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations.
He said a team of forensic experts, including the government pathologist are at the school to establish the cause of the fire.
He said the school principal has asked parents to pick their children.
Dr Matiang’i, was accompanied by Education Belio Kipsang and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.
A Form One student, who was among those treated after the incident said the fire broke out at around 1.30am.
She said the dorm housed exclusively Form One girls and that there were screams and a stampede as girls tried to exit when the fire broke out.
"There was thick smoke that made me faint. But I quickly came to my senses and realised my jumper had caught fire. I put it out and managed to escape," she said.
The girl who had blisters on her left leg was among those rushed to Nairobi Women's Hospital for treatment.
There was a brief commotion at the school as parents demanded to be updated on the fate of their children.
Emotional parents said they have not been told which students perished in the fire and were worries as some had not traced their children.
They demanded to be allowed into the burnt dormitory but security personnel managed to calm them.
President Uhuru Kenyatta sent a message of condolence to the families of students who perished in the fire.
“The young women touched by this tragedy are the best of us; diligent, committed to learning, and prepared to make a difference in the life of the country they love.
I mourn with the families who have lost loved ones, and I pray that those injured will recover quickly and fully,” he said in a statement to newsroom.
He said he has directed investigations be carried out to ensure a similar incident does not occur in future.
“We need to protect our sons and daughters, and we will,” he said.
Deputy President William Ruto also sent a message of condolence to the affected families.
"Quick recovery to those who have suffered burns. It is painful to lose young lives at their prime age," he said in a message posted on his Twitter account.
National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga visited the school and termed the incident as unfortunate and tragic following the death of the students.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) also joined other Kenyans in mourning the death of seven students at Moi Nairobi Girls School.
Chief executive officer Nancy Macharia said she had learnt with sorrow the death the students following a fire incident.
“I take this opportunity to condole with parents and relatives of the girls the Board of Management (BOM), teachers and the entire school community following the tragic incident,” said Mrs Macharia.
She wished students who sustained injuries quick recovery.
“On behalf of the Commission, I further wish to assure all the affected parents, BOM, teachers, students and the entire school community that TSC will work with all the stakeholders to support the affected during this difficult time,” said Mrs Macharia.
She went on: “I pray that God gives fortitude to the grieving parents, relatives, teachers, students and stakeholders.”
Additional reporting Ouma Wanzala.