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Scare as borehole emits flammable gas in Nakuru

Saturday December 14 2019

A geo-thermal well at Menengai Crater.

A geo-thermal well at Menengai Crater. A borehole that was being drilled in Solai gushed out a flammable gas on December 14, 2019. PHOTO | FILE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

FRANCIS MUREITHI
By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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A borehole that was being drilled in Solai, Rongai sub-county, Nakuru, on Saturday gushed out a flammable gas.

The incident left several trees burnt before officers from Solai Police Station and the Nakuru County fire brigade put out the fire at Milmet Farm.

“No casualties were reported but we have alerted the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) geologists to help in sealing the borehole,” said a police officer.

Rongai Deputy Sub-County Commissioner Julius Kavita assured the residents that everything was under control.

“I want to assure the residents that they should not panic as GDC geologists and engineers have taken control of the situation and launched investigations,” said Mr Kavita.

Rongai Sub County Police Commander Richard Rotich advised the residents who want to drill boreholes to consult relevant government agencies such as National Environment Management Authority.

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According to Patel Farm General Manager Vinoj Kumar, the incident occurred at about 11.30am.

A resident said a natural gas started burning from a borehole which had been sunk earlier in the week.

“Initially, the owner of the borehole had drilled about 250m but he increased it to 350m,” said another resident.

Solai neighbours Menengai Crater where GDC drills geothermal wells. A team of geologists from GDC took samples of the gas for analysis.

The scene has been cordoned off as the geologists from GDC and the police conduct further investigations.

This is the first incident of natural gas emission from a borehole in the area since Menengai Geothermal project started in 2011.

Menengai Crater is one of the tourist attractions sites in Nakuru.