Blast was massive – witnesses

May 28, 2012 2:13 pm


The exterior of the building where the blast occurred/MUTHONI NJUKI
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – Several witnesses who were near the scene of the blast at Assanands House only recount hearing a loud blast minutes after one o’clock.

Harriet Kola a trader at the building said that she heard loud explosion while returning to her store.

She recalled having crossed Moi Avenue to buy airtime for her phone, before she heard the explosion. She told journalists that she immediately ran to a store in the next building to check on her sister who runs a separate stall.

“I was crossing back to my shop but after the explosion I could not enter the building that was filled with smoke and rushed to check on my sister,” she recounted,

Kola says that it may be hard to attribute the attack to specific people as there are very many people at the area including students of the Mount Kenya University.

Kola expressed her reservations to the reports by police commissioner Mathew Iteere that the explosion which she described as massive was caused by an electrical fault.

“This blast was so loud I cannot figure out how it was an electric fault that even neighbouring buildings had shattered windows and glasses flying all over,” she explained.

“This place has many people passing at any moment you cannot tell who did it. We have a college here where many people come. It’s not easy to tell, personally I did not see any suspicious person, the trader added.

Although she is not a professional in matters dealing with explosions, she insisted that the nature of injuries suffered by those caught in the blast were not from an electric fault.

Patrick Mugambi a student at the Mount Kenya University also recounted hearing a blast from the basement where he was attending a class shortly after one o’clock.

“We heard an explosion from outside that had a strong effect on the walls. We rushed out almost causing a stampede. When we got out all we could see was smoke then fire a little later,” he remembered adding that there was commotion in the class as everyone scampered to the exit for safety.

Traders on the busy Moi Avenue were forced to close shop for the day for fear of looting as crowds surged at the scene.

Traffic was also interrupted with police closing Moi Avenue and Ronald Ngala Street behind the shopping mall.

A member of the rescue teams that rushed to the scene/MUTHONI NJUKI
The Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development Jamleck Kamau who visited the scene insisted that the process of installation of CCTV cameras in the city will be fast-tracked in the coming months.

Assistant Internal Security Minister Orwa Ojode who also arrived at the scene shortly before 3pm urged Kenyans to be extra vigilant although he assured that the country was safe.

“Kenyans are safe, walk freely but be vigilant; we will be issuing alerts where we have intelligence reports. At the moment we are safe especially in Nairobi,” assured Ojode.


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