Main Suspect Arrested in Nairobi Gas Blast Tragedy; Five Others Still at Large

Kenyan police have apprehended the main suspect believed to be responsible for the devastating gas explosion that rocked a densely populated residential area in Nairobi last week. The explosion, which occurred in the Embakasi neighborhood, claimed the lives of six individuals and left approximately 280 others injured.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) confirmed the arrest of Derrick Kimathi, the prime suspect who had rented the gas depot where the blast originated. Alongside Kimathi, three officials from the National Environment Management Agency (NEMA) have also been taken into custody, as they were found to be complicit in the incident.

However, the DCI has revealed that five other suspects remain at large and are being actively pursued. These individuals include the site manager, two additional NEMA employees, a truck driver, and another driver. The DCI has released photographs of the suspects, urging the public to assist in their capture.

The NEMA officials have come under severe criticism for granting a license to operate the LPG filling and storage plant in such a densely populated area. Nairobi Governor Sakaja Johnson responded swiftly by ordering the closure of all gas businesses operating in residential zones across the city.

President William Ruto, while not explicitly mentioning NEMA, condemned the issuance of licenses for gas installations in residential areas due to incompetence and corruption. He called for the immediate dismissal and prosecution of those responsible for the grave consequences caused by their actions.

NEMA, in a statement released on Saturday, acknowledged that Maxxis Nairobi Energy had obtained a permit to operate the gas plant at the site in February last year. As a result, the agency has suspended four of its employees pending further investigation.

The catastrophic explosion resulted in widespread destruction, engulfing vehicles, business establishments, and residential homes in a massive inferno. Embakasi, with a population of approximately one million according to the 2019 census, is located in close proximity to Kenya’s international airport.

Author: CrimeDoor

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