Late Thursday, a gas explosion in Nairobi’s Embakasi neighborhood, Mradi area, claimed at least three lives and left 298 individuals injured as they slept, according to authorities. The incident occurred at 11:30 p.m. local time, resulting in a fire that consumed homes and warehouses. The injured were swiftly evacuated to various city hospitals, and Emergency Plus Medical Services provided on-site medical treatment.
The blaze, now contained, prompted the Kenya Police Service Deputy Inspector General Douglas Kanja to visit the site on Friday, where a multi-agency team remains stationed. The Kenya Red Cross is offering first aid and psychosocial support services, operating a “tracing desk,” and aiding in search and rescue efforts. Notably, 21 separated children have been reunited with their parents.
Nairobi City County is providing financial relief by waiving hospital bills for victims and distributing essential items to affected families. The Kenyan government, through spokesperson Isaac Mwaura, is urging blood and item donations to support victims. The explosion reportedly originated from an illegal liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plant, with the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) revealing rejected construction permit applications for an LPG storage and filling plant at the site in 2023.
EPRA emphasized the failure to meet safety distances in the designs and the high population density around the proposed site. The agency requested a Qualitative Risk Assessment, which was never provided, leading to the rejection of the applications. EPRA pledged to revoke licenses for low safety integrity status plants and demolish illegal plants nationwide to prevent future incidents. The investigation into the explosion continues.