The aftermath of a devastating gas explosion in Nairobi continues to send shockwaves through the city, with the main suspect now making a dramatic appearance in court. The explosion, which rocked the densely populated Embakasi neighborhood, claimed the lives of six individuals and left nearly 280 others injured.
Derrick Kimathi, the individual believed to have rented the “illegal” gas depot where the tragedy unfolded, was brought before a Nairobi court amidst tight security. Clad in a black beanie and face mask, Kimathi faced accusations regarding his involvement in the fatal incident.
Authorities have wasted no time in taking action, with Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) labeling Kimathi as the “prime suspect” in the case. Additionally, three officials from the National Environment Management Agency (NEMA) have been implicated for their alleged role in permitting the operation of the gas facility in a densely populated area.
The gravity of the situation is further emphasized by the ongoing search for five other suspects, including the site manager and two NEMA employees. The DCI has made it clear that those responsible for the disaster will be held accountable for the immense physical and emotional suffering inflicted upon the community.
In response to the tragedy, Nairobi Governor Sakaja Johnson has ordered the immediate closure of all gas businesses operating in residential areas across the city. Meanwhile, President William Ruto has voiced his concerns, attributing the issuance of licenses for gas installations in residential zones to incompetence and corruption. He has called for the dismissal and prosecution of those found responsible for these lapses.
The fallout from the explosion extends beyond the loss of life and injuries, with significant destruction to vehicles, businesses, and residential properties in the area. As investigations continue, questions linger regarding the safety protocols and regulatory oversight surrounding gas facilities in densely populated urban areas.
Embakasi, home to approximately one million residents, now grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy, highlighting the urgent need for stringent safety measures and accountability in the management of hazardous facilities within city limits.