Court frees Embakasi gas plant owner on Sh2m bond

Embakasi gas explosion

Embakasi gas plant proprietor Derick Kimathi

Photo credit: Richard Munguti

The proprietor of the gas refilling company- Maxxis Energy Nairobi Limited- Derick Kimathi where a gas tanker exploded killing 12 people and leaving over 600 with serious burn wounds, has been released on bond of Sh2 million.

The court granted Mr Kimathi the alternative of paying a cash bail of Sh500,000 to secure his release.

Milimani senior principal magistrate Dolphina Alego freed Mr Kimathi after declining a fresh plea by the prosecution to detain him for a further 14 days to enable police to complete investigations.

The businessman was in custody alongside three senior officials of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Mr Joseph Makau, Mr David Warunya On’gare and Marianne Mutete Kioko, for the last 21 days.

Mr Mureithi said in the petition filed at the High Court that the Nairobi county government, Maxxis Nairobi Energy and Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra), as well as the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, should be compelled to compensate the victims over their acts and omissions.

Meanwhile, city politician Francis Mureithi has sued the government seeking compensation on behalf of victims of the fire tragedy that occurred early this month.

Mr Mureithi wants the victims compensated and the government alongside the Nairobi county government compelled to provide the affected residents of Mradi area in Embakasi East Constituency with alternative land, shelter or accommodation until they can get on with their lives as before.

The politician said the government agencies failed to respond in a timely and expeditious manner to the scene of the blast on February 1.

He said uncertainty still lingers as most of the victims do not have the means to pay their medical bills as well as purchase the much-needed medication since some of the victims are receiving treatment in private hospitals.

“Indeed, there have also been reports of a lack of drugs to treat burn wounds in county health facilities which is a serious failure of emergency preparedness on the part of the 2nd Respondent (the county government), he said.

Mr Mureithi said those who are recuperating outside of the hospitals have been left to contend with disability, loss of their homes, livelihoods, as well as substantial damage to their businesses coupled with the indignity and apprehension of having their lives upended without means or resources to rebuild their lives.

He said the facility was allowed to operate and licensed in dubious circumstances, despite the same being situated in a densely populated residential area.