Being a former paramedic with search and rescue experience, I headed downstairs. Four or five of us piled into a car and headed downtown. The streets were already closed by police, but we managed to get through and made it to the embassy. It looked relatively intact from the road, but a big horizontal crack running along the foundation, perhaps a foot or two above the ground, spoke to the idea that perhaps the entire building had been lifted off the ground. All of the windows on the back side were blown out.
The scene in front of the embassy was chaotic. A crowd of thousands had formed in the street, clogging Moi Avenue and extending around Haile Selassie Avenue to the rear of the building. Acrid smoke and dust filled the air. Mangled, burning vehicles and debris were all around. An office building next door to us, Ufundi House, was completely leveled, trapping people alive in the wreckage. Other buildings were heavily damaged, with shattered windows extending for several blocks in all directions. 2b1af7f3a8