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Agony of city dad who sustained serious burns from gas explosion

A father of two has narrated an agonizing incident that left him nursing serious burns after a gas cylinder blew up in his Buruburu house just moments after preparing breakfast for his children.

Isaac Irungu has narrated on social media how on the morning of October 18, 2016 he had seen off his two children and on coming back to the house tried to light up his gas to make his own breakfast, only for it to blow in his face.

However, to date the Mr Irungu is yet to receive any compensation from the gas manufacturer.

Mr Irungu, whose wife had travelled out of town, sustained serious burns on his face, hands and legs.

“I was taken to a medical centre here in Buruburu since I did not have a medical cover. Afterwards I saw a burns consultant doctor at Mater Hospital and had to do home care for the three and a half months with some help from nurses and doctors,” Irungu told Nairobi News.

The doctors said Irungu had sustained 16 per cent burns and after months of treatment he is set for one surgery in India.

His treatment however hit a dead end when the compensation that had been agreed upon with the manufacturer of the gas that blew off failed to materialize.

“National Oil senior officials visited me in November and suggested for compensation. But after the meeting I called Safety Director of National Oil and he told me to direct my complaints to ERC. When I did, I was requested by ERC to send a fee note to National Oil through my lawyer,” wrote Irungu in his post.


“I did and we got a response from their insurance APA on the 31st January 2017. Ever since they have refused to communicate. They want the case to go to court, which might take years to resolve,” he said.

National Oil Corporation of Kenya (Nock) on Wednesday shared a press release that blamed the fire incident on a faulty regulator, stating that the gas was tested and certified.

“Our technical team purged the gas cylinder to release some gas and to establish if the gas had the characteristic ‘rotten egg’ smell caused by ethyl mercaptan chemical that is introduced in LPG at source to help in detecting leaks. The gas was found to have the ‘rotten egg’ smell. The Certificate of Quality from the international supplier of the gas for the batch, from which the cylinder was filled, also confirmed the presence of the chemical. From our investigations, there is clear evidence therefore that a faulty regulator and not a faulty cylinder belonging to Mr Irungu might have triggered the sequence of events,” stated the company.

This even as Mr Irungu had stated that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) through SGS Kenya, an inspection, verification and certification company had confirmed that the gas had no foul smell.

“I notified ERC who in turn sent SGS to inspect. They did, and true to our fears, the LPG gas did not contain the “Ethyl Mercaptan” chemical which is a foul smell that should notify someone of a leaking gas,” narrated Irungu.

As the father of two ponders on how to seek further treatment in India, Nock insists that their gas was not faulty but sent out its sympathies to the victim adding that the company lawyers were in touch with Irungu’s lawyers, something that the victim termed as “a lie” adding that “they have refused to communicate.”