Social Media Reports on Cooking Gas Cylinder Fire Incident

June 7th 2017

Social Media Reports on National Oil Corporation (NOC) Cooking Gas Cylinder Fire Incident  

NAIROBI: Reports of a NOC Kenya Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder fire incident resulting in bodily harm to one Mr. Isaac Irungu have come to our attention.  

The incident was first reported to NOC Kenya on November 15 2016 following which a technical, quality and safety team was dispatched to Mr. Irungu’s home to investigate the incident.

NOC would like to state as follows:

The cylinder in question, serial No. 002039 was filled at our Nairobi National LPG terminal on 7th October 2016 in accordance to strict ISO 9001 certified procedures and guidelines that among others include inspection of every filled cylinder prior to and after filling.

On 18th October 2016, Mr Irungu bought the cylinder from one of our licensed stockists in Nairobi’s Buruburu area. He first used the cylinder on the morning of 19th October 2016. On turning on his cooker, very little gas was coming from the cylinder. This is a pointer to a faulty regulator. It was established that Mr. Irungu then resorted to using an electric kettle to boil water and in the process might have forgotten to turn off the gas at the burner.

Mr. Irungu later returned to the kitchen to prepare his breakfast, unfortunately on lighting a match, the flame from the match caused the accumulation of gas in the kitchen from the gas cooker which was still on, to flare into a big flame. The flames caused some damage to items in his kitchen and burns on his face, arm and leg.

The NOC Kenya cylinder in question remained intact, did not have scorch marks or any other signs of an explosion. A visual inspection of the regulator however, revealed that the top part was completely damaged by the flame. The nature of damage to the regulator indicates an inherent weakness on its structure. NOC Kenya did not supply this regulator.

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.

We take this opportunity to reiterate our sincere sympathies to him and his family. We are in receipt of Mr. Irungu’s compensation claims through his lawyer and the same sent to our insurance provider. Our insurer has pursued an investigation into the matter as is consistent with our policies for handling such matters and has confirmed that they are in discussions with Mr. Irungu’s lawyer on the same.

Finally, NOC Kenya wishes to reaffirm our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of all our customers. We deeply value you.  Indeed National Oil Corporation of Kenya has rolled out a raft of interventions to address LPG safety, user awareness, access and pricing, with a view to enhancing LPG penetration in the country.


Tel: 020 6952109