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Suspect in deadly Kenya gas explosion freed on bail

Suspect in deadly Kenya gas explosion freed on bail
Source: Video Screenshot

A Kenyan court granted bail on Wednesday to the main suspect in a deadly gas plant blast that killed six people and injured 300 others in the capital Nairobi earlier this month.

The move was opposed by the prosecution, which argued Derrick Kimani was likely to interfere with witnesses’ statements.

Kimani, who police said owned the “illegal” gas depot where the disaster occurred, was arrested on February 6, five days after a truck loaded with gas cannisters exploded into ferocious fireball in a densely populated area.

“The remaining investigations will continue when the respondent deposits a cash bail of half a million shillings ($3,500),” Milimani principal magistrate Dolphina Alego ruled.

Alego said Kimani could alternatively pay a bond of two million Kenyan shillings ($13,900) and two sureties of the same amount.

She also ordered him to surrender all travel documents to the court.

The huge inferno in the Mradi residential estate in Embakasi left a trail of destruction, destroying vehicles, business premises and homes.

Embakasi has a population of almost one million, according to the 2019 census, and lies close to Kenya’s international airport.

Kimani’s lawyer has insisted he had been operating a garage on the premises, not a gas filling plant, and said the truck that exploded was “trespassing without his knowledge”.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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