Owner Of Gas Plant In Embakasi Explosion Surrenders To Police

Police have been pursuing seven suspects in connection with the explosion, including Kimathi, the proprietor of the illegal gas filling plant and Steve Kioko, Kimathi’s partner.

Owner Of Gas Plant In Embakasi Explosion Surrenders To Police
Screengrabs of a huge explosion reported at Embakasi, Nairobi on February 2, 2023. /VIRAL TEA KE

Derrick Kimathi, the owner of the property at Mradi village in Embakasi where a huge explosion occurred on Thursday night, February 1, has surrendered to police.

Reports that have reached Viral Tea's newsdesk indicate that Kimathi surrendered himself to Embakasi police station where he is currently being grilled. He was accompanied by his lawyer, Wandugi Kirathe.

The gas plant proprietor is being grilled by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over the Thursday night tragedy that has since killed six people and injured over 300 others.

The aftermath of the Embakasi explosion that occurred on February 2, 2024. /PHOTO

“He is still talking to the team handling the matter. We will know more,” Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei told the media.

Police have been pursuing seven suspects in connection with the explosion, including Kimathi, the proprietor of the illegal gas filling plant and Steve Kioko, Kimathi’s partner.

Kimathi's lawyer had previously dismissed reports that his client was running the premises against the law, indicating that it was operating as a garage and not a gas-filling station.

“Our client had not been operating a gas filling operation on that premises. The premises, for the last few years, has been operating as a garage and until Thursday, it was still operating as a garage. The motor vehicle that caused this incident was trespassing into this property without his knowledge and consent,” Karathe claimed to the media.

Also being sought after was the driver of the truck that is suspected to have caused the explosion whom they are yet to confirm whether he escaped or was among the casualties; and four officials from the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) who were suspended for allegedly issuing a license illegally to Kimathi’s company.

The four include; the Director of Environmental Compliance, Acting Deputy Director Compliance, Head of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) section, and Senior Environmental Officer in the EIA section.

A NEMA official was earlier arrested following a directive by President William Ruto for the arrest and prosecution of officials who issued licences to the gas plant linked to the Embakasi explosion on Thursday.

The official, a director at NEMA, was arrested, with Bungei confirming the same. The official is assisting police with investigations as the police boss reiterated the commitment to apprehending all individuals involved.

As part of the ongoing investigation into the explosion and the resulting fatalities, authorities plan to conduct autopsies on the victims, and those found culpable may face charges related to murder.

Bungei earlier on Monday dismissed fears of another gas leak reported in the area which caused panic among Embakasi residents to the point of taking precautionary measures, including evacuating from the area where the explosion occurred three days ago.

“I want to assure other members of the public that their safety is assured and have ransacked this area and there is no container that still has gas in it. All of them are empty,” said Bungei.

Nairobi County secretary Patrick Analo in a press address assured that they took all precautionary measures in a bid to avert a similar experience as the one witnessed a few days ago, announcing that the county had already started evacuating people from that site over fears of a fresh explosion.

Meanwhile, the victims and their families are hoping for compensation from both the owners of the yard where the explosion occurred and the government.

Marvin is a man who wears many hats as well as one of many talents. The digital journalist and editor rose from studying a Psychology degree at the United States International University-Africa (USIU) and working as an intern at Kenyans.co.ke to the Founder & Editor-In-Chief at Viral Tea Ke, driving it into one of the fastest-growing digital media platforms in the country. He believes in serving that hot tea; every day and every hour. His skills include editing, writing, social media analytics, teamwork, and good communication skills and is ready to learn, re-learn and unlearn. Previously, Marvin also served as the Digital Editor at Bright Kenya News and has had stints at 254News.co.ke and Afrotape.com as a Content Curator His works as a commentator have been featured in newspapers such as Daily Nation, Business Daily, The Star and People Daily either solo or alongside other fellow young journalists. He is a believer in growing young talent in the media industry, passing on lessons learnt from other experienced digital journalists to scribes that look up to him. Currently, he is pushing to have aviation journalism popular among media houses in Kenya. As a believer in victory, he is a fan of Chelsea Football Club and some say he has a radio voice.

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