07 August 1998
(Investigators head to the blast sites to gather evidence) (350) By Jane A. Morse USIA Diplomatic Correspondent Washington -- A State Department official says US planes loaded with medical personnel and supplies, communications and security equipment and search and rescue personnel are flying to Kenya from Andrews Air Force Base near Washington as well as from Germany to bring aid to the victims of the August 7 terrorist bombings of the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The US government is also flying in blood from depots in South Africa and Europe, the official told reporters at a midday August 7 background briefing. The official added that US investigators are enroute to Africa to gather evidence regarding the explosions. The official said there were no advance warnings of the bomb attacks, and normal security precautions were in effect at the time they occurred. According to Reuters news service, about 80 persons were killed and approximately 1,200 persons were injured in the two nearly simultaneous blasts which severely damaged both US Embassies. The State Department official told the briefing that as of midday August 7 Washington time a total of 11 persons were known to have died in the two attacks -- five of them Tanzanian nationals employed by the US Embassy in Dar-el-Salaam. The other six known fatalities, all US nationals, occurred at the US Embassy in Nairobi, which was more heavily damaged than the embassy in Dar-es-Salaam. One of the Nairobi dead was a dependent of an embassy employee. Another 15 US personnel were hospitalized in Nairobi, while six others were missing, according to the official. "It is possible there are people alive in the ruins," the official said. "For right now, we're really focused on getting the living people out of the ruins." The official did not have any information on a report that a bombing suspect was in custody. A hotline for relatives only has been set up at the State Department. The number is: 202-647-0900.