9 August 2013

Kenya: Uhuru Rules Out Terrorism in Jkia Fire

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has ruled out terrorism as the cause of fire at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The president who visited the airport on Friday evening said the initial investigation has shown that it was a simple fire that that gone bad.

"Many have been asking what caused the fire; we can now confirm that there was no element of a terror incident in this fire. There is no evidence of an explosion or an improvised explosive device. This was a simple fire gone bad," Kenyatta said.

He said that investigations are ongoing to find out what exactly happened, who is responsible and why.

"Our own security services and agents from other friendly nations are involved in the investigations, if anyone is culpable, including for gross negligence, they will be dealt with by the full force of the law," he stated.

The president said JKIA security has been significantly enhanced and that the airport capacity has reached 75 percent.

The Head of State said they are building a temporary terminal with a capacity of 2.5 million passengers ready in the coming weeks.

"We also expect the commissioning of our Terminal 4, currently under construction, to come on stream earlier than the projected March 4 date," he revealed.

He said that government is still taking stock of the damage at the Arrivals Terminal but have not yet quantified the cost.

He said that the government intends to fully refurbish Terminals 1, 2 and 3 once the new temporary terminal is ready.

The president said that he has also overhauled national disaster services, creating one coordinating agency to take charge during such incidences

"All security agencies serving within the airport will also come under the command of a single senior officer with immediate effect," he said.

He thanked lending institutions and friendly governments for the massive support that includes financial, security equipment and others.

The Wednesday night fire paralyzed operations at the East Africa's busiest airport causing massive flights cancellation.

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