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Government, partners unite for Embakasi gas explosion emergency response

Government has partnered with different partners to establish a triage to assess and manage patients of the Embakasi gas explosion incident.

The incident which occurred at around 11:30 PM on Thursday in the Mradi area of Embakasi left two dead, more than 300 injured and damaged several vehicles and commercial properties, including small businesses and residential houses.

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According to Principle Secretary (PS) for Public Health and Professional Standards in Ministry of Health, patients with minor injuries will be treated and discharged on-site.

She said more severe cases requiring specialized care, referral procedures have been activated.

The Ministry of Health’s Emergency and Disaster Response Unit partnered with the World Health Organization, Nairobi City County, the Kenya Red Cross, and the National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU).

Mama Lucy Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), and Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral, and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) have been identified as referral centers, with Mama Lucy receiving over 200 patients, KUTRRH attending to 14 cases, and Kenyatta National Hospital providing care for 43 individuals.

“This coordinated response demonstrates the effectiveness of collaborative efforts in swiftly addressing emergency situations and ensuring appropriate medical attention for those affected by the incident.” Said PS Muthoni.

Adding that:”The Ministry of Health’s Emergency and Disaster Response Unit and its partners have shown the importance of working together to provide effective emergency care.”

On Friday, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said the company involved in Thursday’s deadly explosion was operating without it’s approval.

The regulator says the firm had submitted construction permits for the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage and refilling plant in Mradi area, Embakasi East Constituency in Nairobi County on three occasions, on March 19, June 20, and July 31 last year, all of which were rejected.

“The main reason for the rejection was failure of the designs to meet the safety distances stipulated in the Kenya Standard. EPRA noted the high population density around the proposed site and the applicant was requested to submit a Qualitative Risk Assessment (QRA)clearly indicating the radiation blast profiles in the unfortunate case of an explosion like the one that happened yesterday,” EPRA said in a statement Friday.

According to EPRA, the firm failed to submit QRA which indicate blast profile such as the one which occurred at around 11:30PM on February 1, 2023.

EPRA says the blast profiles are simulated by use of computer software and indicate the effect of a typical blast in terms of heat radiation and tremor/vibration and are useful in reviewing the safety of the surrounding areas.

Face the law

Following the incident, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said that firm action will be taken against the owner of the illegal LPG gas filling plant.

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.

He was 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.

DP Gachagua said the owner must face the law for the deaths, injuries and displacement of hundreds of residents affected.

“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.

Also read https://www.kbc.co.ke/firm-in-deadly-embakasi-blast-operated-lpg-site-illegally-epra/


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