Kenya: Embakasi Gas Explosion – DCI Arrest Guard at ‘Illegal’ Gas Plant

Nairobi — Agents from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have arrested a private security guard manning the Embakasi gas outlet where an explosion was reported Thursday night.

DCI made the arrest on Friday even as the government announced an investigation to reveal the identities of those who operated the outlet declare illegal by the country’s energy regulator, EPRA.

Government Spokesperson confirmed three deaths from the tragic incident with over 280 people admitted in hospitals across the city with injuries of varying degrees.

Visiting the scene on Friday, Mwaura stated the government’s resolve to subject those culpable to the law amid mounting questions over regulatory and enforcement lapses.

“We will get to the bottom of this [explosion]. For now we can’t zero in into those responsible until we have gathered enough information on those affected and also the proximity and the relationship with the company,” Mwaura told reporters Friday.

“Give us time, investigations have started and believe me these details will come.”

The incident happened at 11:30 pm when one lorry loaded with gas cylinders exploded, igniting a huge ball of fire.

The resulting shockwave felt miles away. A gas cylinder hitting a garment warehouse razing it to the ground.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) issued a statement saying it denied the gas plant a license after it failed to meet the stipulated standards.

EPRA confirmed received applications for construction permits for a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage and filling plant at the site on 19th March 2023, 20th June 2023, and 37st July 2023.

“All applications [were] rejected as they did not meet the set criteria for an LPG storage and filling plant in that area.”

The regulator said the applicant failed to submit a Qualitative Risk Assessment, a key requirement under Kenyan regulations.

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