Embakasi Gas Explosion: Ruto Orders Govt Officials Arrested In 24 Hours
Ruto accused the officials of issuing licences to the gas filling plant which was found to be operating against the law.
President William Ruto has ordered the dismissal, arrest and detainment of government officials responsible for allowing the operation of the gas plant that exploded in Embakasi on Thursday night.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony for Chekalini Market in Lugari, Kakamega County, Ruto accused the officials of issuing licences to the gas filling plant which was found to be operating against the law.
According to him, unscrupulous government officials issued business permits to the facility to conduct gas businesses within the residential area, thus endangering Kenyan lives.
The President thus called for the officials to be dismissed, arrested and arraigned to face charges against them in 24 hours.
Aftermath of a huge explosion reported at Embakasi, Nairobi (left) on February 2, 2023. /VIRAL TEA KE
"In Nairobi, there was an explosion causing grave injuries to many people because of laziness, deceit and corruption in government offices. Some granted a licence for the plant to be established at a residential area endangering the lives of Kenyans," Ruto stated.
"I have instructed the Ministry that those responsible for granting the licence where it shouldn't should be fired, arrested and detained today."
Ruto also claimed that the government officials were bribed to flout regulations, which culminated in the incident that claimed the lives of three Kenyans and led to the injuries of 280 others.
"They (gas filling plant owners) were instructed not to establish the facility but due to bribery and lack of discipline, the licence was issued and now we have a problem in our hands," the head of state revealed.
Meanwhile, Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) boss Daniel Kiptoo disclosed that the gas plant had managed other facilities in Embakasi and Nanyuki, with EPRA officials raiding the latter.
According to Kiptoo, during the raid on the Nanyuki facility, the EPRA officials arrested its staff as it turned out that the facility was only licensed to operate as an LPG gas transporter.
The staff were also found to be illegally refilling gas on various brands of gas cylinders without authorisation.
"The facility is owned by a company that is licenced by us as a transporter of LPG. The company is also licenced to operate a facility in Nanyuki.
"We did raid the facility the week before last. We found them conducting illegal activities of filling other brand owners' cylinders. We did arrest those who were present on site and prosecuted them in court. The matter is ongoing," the DG told NTV.
Furthermore, he attributed the Embakasi explosion to gas leaks caused by the filling of cylinders unprocedurally, in a way that was likely to put the lives of Kenyans at risk.
"Our preliminary investigations show that they were filling LPG cylinders directly out of a truck and that is an offence under legal notice 100.
"We are following up in a multi-agency manner to ensure that those responsible are brought to book," he added.
A watchman at the facility was arrested, with the identities of the owners yet to be disclosed.