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Gas plant owner to face law for the deaths, injuries of residents, DP says

Firm action will be taken against the owner of the illegal LPG gas filling plant that exploded on Thursday night leading to the loss of innocent lives and injuries to hundreds of others at Mradi estate, Embakasi East in Nairobi, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said. 

The Deputy President said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations had been firmly instructed by President William Ruto to hunt and apprehend the owner who has been operating the illegal plant a night after he was banned from running the business.

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Speaking on Friday evening after visiting the survivors of the tragedy who are admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital and Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital, Mr Gachagua said the owner must face the law for the deaths, injuries and displacement of hundreds of residents affected.

Hundreds of others are admitted in various city hospitals.

“It is now clear where this incident took place was an illegal gas filling station. The person operating it was declined a license for the plant. They have been carrying out the activities at night,” said the DP.

He said investigative agencies had commenced investigations and were in pursuit of the owner of the plant.

“DCI officers are in hot pursuit of the owner. The DCI has clear instructions to do whatever it takes and to have the culprit apprehended and presented before the court of law with a litany of charges,” he said, adding that the owner must take responsibility for the death of innocent Kenyans and for the injuries and destruction of property.

He said it was wrong for unscrupulous businessmen to look for shortcuts to quick riches at the expense of lives of innocent Kenyans.

“I appeal to businessmen not to put money ahead of humanity and lives. It is unthinkable and unfortunate that in pursuit of quick riches by some of the businessmen, lives of Kenyans are endangered,” he added.

The Deputy President also conveyed President William Ruto’s sympathies to the patients.

He said they will push MPs to pass tighter laws with stiffer penalties for those found in violation of laws on trading illegally in petroleum products.

“We will ask the lawmakers to tighten regulations of the handling of petroleum products because of the danger they pose to Kenyans,” he stated.

To ensure quick and effective response a multi-agency team has been formed to coordinate humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of families affected, said the DP.

Mr Gachagua expressed his sadness at the anguish and pain of those who were affected, saying they will receive the government’s full support.

The Deputy President also visited the site of the explosion and assured the residents of the government’s support to recover from the tragedy.

“As an administration we have the responsibility to come through for the people of Kenya when they find themselves in difficult situations,” he said.

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