What You Need to Know:
A truck carrying large gas canisters exploded on Thursday in the Embakasi area of Nairobi, Kenya. The explosion left 280 wounded, with six fatalities thus far.
Africa | ?? | Gas station explosion in Nairobi, Kenya. Over 300 people reported to have been injured thus far. The number of fatalities is not yet known.
Pray for Kenya. pic.twitter.com/4kr0R5uFEc
— Sphithiphithi Evaluator (@_AfricanSoil) February 2, 2024
The truck is thought to be linked to an illegal LPG refilling and storage site, with the site being demolished twice previously as well as the site’s owner being charged in March of 2023 for operating illegally.
Despite the Police’s knowledge of the illegal site, the Petroleum Institute of East Africa claimed, “The proprietor continued operating the illegal storage and refilling facility without even the bare minimum safety standards and qualified LPG personnel as required by law leading to this unfortunate catastrophe which could have been avoided should the letter and spirit of the law have been followed.”
However, Maxxis Nairobi Energy allegedly issued the business a permit to operate in February of 2023, which Kenya’s President William Ruto claimed was a sign of “incompetence and corruption.”
Kenya’s Minister of Energy and Minister of the Interior in a joint statement claimed, “the refilling of LPG cylinders was done using direct manifold connections to LPG tankers increasing the risk of leakage and explosion”.
According to the BBC, Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) claimed, “The gas plant was illegal and that it had rejected three applications for construction permits to build a storage and filling facility at the site. EPRA said the designs did not meet its safety standards and there was a high population around the proposed site.”
Currently, the legality of the business is unknown as various Kenyan Government and Regulatory Authority statements appear to contradict one another
However, Government Spokesperson Issac Mwaura stated on Friday, that the company responsible for the blast must take “full responsibility”, despite a Police source telling AFP journalists that they have been unable to locate the company’s owner.