Following the explosion at Assanands House on Moi Avenue that occurred at lunchtime today, at least 28 people have been taken to Kenyatta national Hospital but despite an earlier report, no one has been killed as a result of the blast. However, confusion reigns as to the cause of the blast with conflicting statements coming from the police, experts from the Kenya Power and Lighting Company and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
The blast that shook Moi Avenue just after 1pm today caused a two feet wide crater at the scene and shook buildings in the area, it ripped the tine roof off the building in which it occurred and left the pavement “splattered with blood”. Many people were injured by flying glass and debris and smoke billowed high into the air above central Nairobi.
The Red Cross immediately set up an emergency medical centre close to the blast area and firefighters brought the resultant fire under control before extinguishing it.
As police and security officials desperately tried to clear crowds of people away (with limited success) police chief Matthew Iteere announced that experts from the Kenya Power & Lighting Company had been called in to ascertain whether the cause of the explosion had been some sort of electrical fault.
Matthew Iteere went on to pronounce that that he suspected an electrical fault as the cause and went so far as to say that the blast was not caused by a grenade or bomb attack.
However, the KPLC experts have since said that there was no on-the-ground transformer at the site and that the electrical ‘trippers’ in the building were all in tact. In short, they said the explosion was not caused by an electrical fault.
Enter Prime Minister Raila Odinga on the scene. Odinga spoke to the awaiting press and large crowd, stating that the government “would spare no efforts” and would commit all necessary resources to the security services to ensure that Nairobi City Centre was secure. Moreover, and tellingly, PM Odinga said that “the terrorists’ days are numbered” and that “they will not succeed”. What does he know that Itere obviously does not?
Latest news is that the police are now investigating a bomb or grenade attack.
No sooner had Raila Odinga had left the scene than Musalia Mudavadi, his erstwhile political ally and still the Deputy prime Minister of Kenya, also arrived to make a speech. Is there no place or event, be it a funeral or the site of a bomb blast that these people will not use for political gain?