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The International Search and Rescue Response to the US Embassy Bombing in Kenya: The Medical Team Experience

  • Anthony G. Macintyre (a1), Scott Weir (a1) and Joseph A. Barbera (a1)

On 07 August, 1998, a terrorist's bomb exploded outside of the United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. The explosion caused severe damage to the Embassy and surrounding structures, including almost complete collapse of the Ufundi building adjacent to the Embassy. The U.S. response to this tragedy included the deployment of medical, rescue, and law enforcement personnel to assist the Kenyan government. An integral component of this response was the deployment of an Urban Search and Rescue Task Force to aid in the location, extrication, and rescue of entrapped victims. This Task Force was sponsored by the Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), a branch of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Task Force included a medical team composed of two physicians and four paramedics, whose purpose was to define, create, and provide a medical care system for rescuers and victims in the austere environment at the bombsite. As an international event involving a multinational response, the characteristics and requirements of this event differed in some respects from domestic disaster emergency responses, and the medical team adjusted their operating procedures accordingly.

Corresponding author
Department of Emergency Medicine The George Washington University Medical Center 2140 Pennsylvania, Ave, NW Washington, DC 20037 USA E-mail:
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Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
  • ISSN: 1049-023X
  • EISSN: 1945-1938
  • URL: /core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine
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