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Embakasi gas explosion: Plant owner denies operating a filling plant

The motor vehicle that caused the incident trespassed on his property without his knowledge and consent and he is actively pursuing the details of that vehicle so that it can be exposed to the police.

Images of an explosion that occurred in Embakasi, Nairobi on February 1, 2023

The Embakasi gas explosion has taken a new twist with the owner of the infamous plant surfacing and dismissing claims that a gas filling plant was in operation at the premises.

Derick Kimathi, the owner of the premises where the explosion happened has maintained that all he operated was a garage and not a gas filling plant as reported by state agencies, the press and residents.

He further cautioned those linking him with operating a gas-filling plant to refrain.

Through his lawyers, Kimathi noted that the vehicle behind the explosion tress-passed in his property which was a garage without his knowledge, adding that he is actively pursuing the details of the vehicle in question.

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"I wish to state that my client refutes all the incorrect allegations which have been aired and published in the media, pointing fingers at him for being responsible for the unfortunate incident.

The motor vehicle that caused the incident trespassed on his property without his knowledge and consent and he is actively pursuing the details of that vehicle so that it can be exposed to the police” the lawyer stated.

Kimathi’s lawyers noted that their client was deeply affected by allegations with Kenyans believing that he is responsible for the incident which left three people dead and nearly 300 others in hospital with injuries.

His lawyers further cautioned the media from publishing alarming statements until investigations are concluded.

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Kimathi. According to his lawyers, he has not been in hiding and has been in touch with police.

"My client is not in hiding, he is available and within the public and has been in touch with the police," the lawyer stated.

"Our client requests that the media refrain from publishing any unverified and alarming statements. We call upon the public especially the media to allow the police to conduct their investigations," the lawyer stated.

Several suspended after President Ruto's directive

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President William Ruto addressed the Embakasi gas explosion with an ultimatum that those in government who slept on the job should be fired and prosecuted.

“I want to say for the avoidance of doubt, the government officials who issued licenses for gas installations in residential areas when it was very clear that it was the wrong thing to do, but because of incompetence and corruption they issued licenses.”

“Today we have injuries, we have Kenyans who have died, those fellows who are involved in this, the ministry must immediately take action against them and they must be dismissed and prosecuted for the crimes they have committed.” Ruto stated on Saturday morning.

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Shortly after the President weighed in on the matter, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) suspended four officials in connection with the explosion.

The Director, Environmental Compliance and Acting Deputy Director of Compliance are among those suspended.

Others are two Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) were suspended. These were the Senior Environmental Officer and the Head of Environmental Impact Assessment.

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