Kenyan police arrest main suspect in Nairobi gas explosion | Crime news
Six people were killed in the disaster and 280 others were injured in the explosion that occurred on Thursday in a residential area in Nairobi.
Kenyan police said on Tuesday they had arrested the main suspect in a deadly gas explosion that sent off a huge fireball in a densely populated area of Nairobi last week.
Six people died in the disaster and about 280 others were injured when a truck loaded with gas cylinders exploded in the city’s Embakasi district late on Thursday.
Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) said in a statement on X that its investigators had arrested the “prime suspect” who rented the gas warehouse where the explosion occurred.
“To ensure justice gets its way, DCI teams investigating the horrific incident have so far arrested the prime suspect, Derrick Kimathi alongside three NEMA officials who were found guilty,” she added.
Officials from the National Environment Management Agency (NEMA) have been accused of wrongly licensing an LPG filling and storage plant in such a densely populated area.
“Five other suspects remain at large and are wanted by the DNI to answer for their crimes that have caused untold physical and emotional suffering to their fellow Kenyans,” the movement’s statement said, along with photos of the suspects.
They include the site manager, two other NEMA employees, a truck driver and another driver, she added.
Nairobi Governor Sakaja Johnson on Tuesday ordered the closure of all gas companies operating in residential areas across the city.
President William Ruto, without mentioning NEMA, said at the weekend that licenses were wrongly issued to gas installations in residential areas “due to inefficiency and corruption.”
Ruto said those responsible should be removed and “prosecuted for the crimes they committed.”
Maxxis Nairobi Energy obtained a permit to operate a gas plant at the site in February last year, NEMA said on Saturday. It said it had suspended four of its employees.
The massive fire left devastation in the residential and industrial area, destroying vehicles, commercial buildings and residential homes.
Embakasi has a population of about one million according to the 2019 census, and is located near Kenya International Airport.
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