The death toll resulting from the Mradi gas explosion in Embakasi, Nairobi, has climbed to six, with three additional victims succumbing to their burns in the hospital, according to officials.
The individuals, who had sustained severe injuries, were admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital, where they later passed away. Several other victims with serious burns are currently receiving treatment in various city hospitals, including at least 20 who were referred to KNH due to their critical conditions.
After the Thursday night explosion at a filling station, some individuals were left with severe injuries, and they hope for compensation from the yard owners and the government. Over 300 people were injured and are undergoing treatment in various hospitals across the city.
Detectives have arrested one of the directors at the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and are continuing their search for more suspects behind the incident. The arrested official is a deputy compliance director at NEMA. An autopsy on the bodies is planned as part of the investigation into the deaths, with the police intending to charge those involved with murder.
Authorities are pursuing at least seven suspects, including Derick Kimathi, the proprietor of the illegal gas filling plant, Steve Kioko (Kimathi’s partner), and the truck driver suspected of causing the explosion, whose status is yet to be confirmed. Additionally, three NEMA officials were suspended for allegedly issuing a license illegally to Kimathi’s company.
Kimathi, through his lawyer Wandugi Kirathe, has denied the claims, stating that he has been cooperating with police officers investigating the matter. He had applied to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) last year for a license to operate a gas filling plant in the area, but the applications were rejected. Kimathi argues that he abandoned the idea after EPRA rejected the applications due to the site’s lack of viability in close proximity to the public.
In response to the incident, the government announced several measures to ensure compliance in the sector. These measures include conducting a fresh risk assessment for all LPG plants, intending to close all non-compliant sites, demolishing illegal sites, an immediate rollout of a government LPG growth strategy, and strengthening the LPG data verification framework, among other actions.