Embakasi gas explosion site

The owner of the gas plant that exploded and caused a disaster in Embakasi has been released on bail, while the officials of the National Environment Conservation Authority (Nema) have been acquitted by the High Court.

The tragic gas explosion caused the deaths of 12 people, while 600 others were left with injuries.

The senior judge of the Milimani court, Ms. Dolphina Alego, released Derick Kimathi on Sh2 million bail after rejecting the request of the police, who wanted to be allowed to detain him for 14 more days.

In her decision, Ms. Alego said the police have detained the suspect for 21 days.

He said that continuing to detain this suspect for another 14 days while the police continue with the investigation would be a violation of his rights.

Embakasi gas explosion site

Asking that Mr. Kimathi be detained for 14 more days, Inspector Isaac Kariuki said the investigation is ongoing and that they have recorded statements from 300 injured.

He also said they expect to register the information of another 30 people.

Mr. Kariuki told the judge that the police are looking to reach Tanzania and Uganda, where the gas that caused the disaster in Embakasi was released and taken, respectively.

Mr. Kimathi and three Nema officers were detained for 21 days at the Embakasi police station.

Mr. Kimathi, who is the owner of Maxxis Energy Nairobi Limited, along with Nema officials Mr. Joseph Makau, Mrs. Marrian Mutete Kioko, and Mr. David Warunya On'gare, were released on bail, although they were warned not to disturb the investigation.

Ms. Alego ordered that when Mr. Kimathi, Mr. Makau, and Ms. Kioko were brought to court, they should be detained at the Embakasi Police Station, and Mr. Ong'are should be detained at the Capitol Hill Police Station so that he would be near the hospital as he was ill.

Embakasi gas explosion site

The judge said the suspect "needed to be close to a hospital due to his health condition."

Lawyers Odero Okello and Karathe Wandugi, who are defending the suspects, explained to the court that Mr. Ong'are needed medical services and should not be detained at the Embakasi police station.

The judge had been asked to order the suspect to be sent to Karen Hospital to receive treatment while the police continued their investigation.

Accepting the request of prosecutors Herbat Isonye, Dougus Rugut, Sonia Njoki, and James Gachoka that the suspects be detained for 21 days, the judge said the police needed time to investigate the case thoroughly.

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