Why Did Kenya Police Arrest the Prime Suspect in the Nairobi Gas Explosion?

The explosion in Nairobi’s residential area on Thursday claimed the lives of six people and injured more than 280 others.

Source : aljazeera

Kenyan police announced the arrest of the primary suspect in last week’s deadly gas explosion that sent a massive ball of fire into a residential area in Nairobi.

Six people were killed and more than 280 were injured in an explosion of a truck filled with gas canisters in Embakasi, Togo, on Thursday night.

Kenya’s DCI said in a news release on X that investigators have apprehended the “main suspect” who leased the gas station where the explosion took place.

In order to make sure justice is done, the investigating DCI teams have arrested the primary perpetrator, Derrick Kimathi, as well as three NEMA executives who were found guilty of the crime.

NEMA officials are being accused of improperly granting a permit to operate an LPG filling & storage facility in such a populous area.

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According to a statement from the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), five other suspects remain at large. “They are wanted to answer for their heinous crimes which have caused untold pain and suffering to the people of Kenya,” read the statement, which was accompanied by photos of the five suspects.

“These include the site manager, two other NEMA staff, one truck driver and one additional driver,” it added.

On Tuesday, the governor of Nairobi, Sakaja Johnson, ordered the shut-down of all gas establishments in residential areas in the city. At the weekend, President William Ruto said that licences for gas facilities in residential areas had been issued in error due to “incompetence and corruption.” He said the perpetrators should be fired and prosecuted.

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On Saturday, the National Energy and Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) confirmed that a company called Maxxis had been granted a permit to run a gas plant in the area in February of last year. The company said it had fired four of its staff.

The massive fire wreaked havoc on the residential and commercial areas, destroying cars, shops and homes.

The city of Embakasi is home to about one million people, according to the 2019 Census, and is located close to Kenya’s international airport.

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