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JKIA blackout: CS Murkomen invites police to probe suspected foul play

CS Murkomen wants the National Police Service to probe possible acts of sabotage and coverup at JKIA

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen reads the NTSA accident statistics in his office on December 19, 2022

In a statement on Sunday evening December 10, Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen announced a formal request to the National Police Service to investigate potential acts of sabotage and coverup following a widespread power outage experienced in various parts of the country that affected the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The outage, which affected numerous regions, was swiftly addressed through the activation of standby generators at JKIA, restoring power to most areas.

However, terminals 1A and 1E did not immediately resume normal operations, prompting an urgent response from Cabinet Secretary Murkomen.

In the aftermath of the incident, Murkomen led a high-level team, including the Principal Secretary for Transport, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Board Chairman, the Managing Director, and other key KAA officials, to assess the situation at JKIA.

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The airport has been facing ongoing challenges, and the recent disruption raised concerns about potential foul play.

Addressing the situation, Murkomen expressed regret over the delayed resumption of services at terminals 1A and 1E, emphasizing the strategic national importance of JKIA.

"Considering the frequency of the power disruption and taking into account the fact that JKIA is a facility of strategic national importance, we are making a formal request to the National Police Service to investigate possible acts of sabotage and coverup," Murkomen stated.

The Cabinet Secretary highlighted the ongoing efforts to address issues at JKIA, citing a cleanup operation currently underway.

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He also emphasized the commitment of the KAA Board to adhere to strict instructions, continuing the reform agenda and implementing the recommendations outlined in a recent report by a technical committee that he had constituted.

As the investigation unfolds, both the government and airport authorities are keen on ensuring the safety, efficiency, and reliability of JKIA, a critical hub for national and international air travel.

The National Police Service is expected to conduct a thorough inquiry into the incident, shedding light on any potential foul play and ensuring accountability for any acts of sabotage or coverup.

In response to the power outage at JKIA, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) issued an official statement extending sincere apologies to passengers, stakeholders, and all airport users for the inconvenience caused by the disruption, particularly at Terminals 1A (IA) and 1E (IE).

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The statement acknowledged the power failure experienced at Terminals 1A and 1E and provided insights into the technical challenges faced by the airport's generator system during the incident.

According to KAA, despite rigorous testing of the generator system over the past week to ensure continuous and reliable power supply, two of the four generators, specifically those serving Terminals 1A and 1E, failed to immediately activate during the power outage.

The rest of the airport, including the JKIA Tower and Runway, remained fully operational and unaffected by the power failure.

KAA's technical team responded to rectify the situation, successfully restoring power to the affected terminals.

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KAA has initiated a comprehensive investigation to identify the root cause of the generator failure.

The organization emphasized its dedication to providing a safe, efficient, and comfortable experience for all airport users.

"We are committed to taking all necessary steps to maintain and improve our facilities and services," stated KAA.

"Our technical team is working diligently to investigate the incident and ensure that such disruptions are addressed promptly and effectively," the statement added.

KAA expressed gratitude for the understanding and patience of passengers and stakeholders during the ongoing efforts to enhance the airport's facilities.

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