After the blast at 1:08pm, innocent Kenyans lay writhing in pain, their faces bloodied, their limbs sliced open and their hitherto tranquil and blissful shattered forever.
They suffered a second trauma when some of those who rushed to the scene either looted their hard-earned wares, or stood at a distance and took pictures of their pitiful state using their phones.
Worse still, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere arrived at the scene under heavy guard and quickly declared that the blast came from an âelectrical faultâ, despite the fact that the explosion was heard far and wide, and shattered the windows of adjacent buildings and concrete walls.
It was only when Kenya Power Company, whose reputation has been blotted by perennial power outages of late, said there were no transformers in the building that could have exploded, that Iteere confirmed Kenyaâs worst fears that the blast could have come from an Improvised Explosive Device ( IED).
This fits the recent spate of attacks in Mombasa, Northern Kenya and the capital itself. That statement alone scratched the wounds of the nation healing from the devastation of the 1998 US Embassy and 2002 Kikambala Hotel bombings, and also poured salt on other bruises opened up by the smaller but deadly sequenced attacks reported after Kenyan troops entered Somalia last October.Â
Mondayâs blast took place at Assanands House along Moi Avenue.Â Five of the injured had serious wounds after the explosion that ripped off the roof before turning into an inferno.
Iteere had immediately ruled out a grenade attack saying there were no pellets or shrapnel recovered either at the scene or on the bodies of the victims.Â
âPreliminary investigation has shown it was not caused by a grenade or a bomb. We are trying to establish if it was caused by an electric fault,â Iteere told journalists at the scene.
âThe affected building has no ground mounted transformer inside it or outside that would explode,â Kenya Power said in its defence.
The firm said its technicians and engineers had visited the scene and âfound all the electrical connections to the building including the cutouts (fuses) on the Kenya Power side that would otherwise blow in the event of a short circuit inside the building intact.â