Youths scamper for safety after police lobbed teargas to disperse looters during the demolition of the Airgate Center. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYAYouths scamper for safety after police lobbed teargas to disperse looters during the demolition of the Airgate Center. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA
By NYABOGA KIAGE

Gangs of youths on Saturday night vandalized whatever valuables that they could lay their hands on at the demolished Airgate Center.

Lorries and pickups loaded with goods and metals were seen snaking their way out of the compound where the mall stood.

The youths also harassed motorists who were using the lane that passes right outside the mall.

Those that spoke to Nairobi News said they had no option but to go away with the goods.

“They are planning to throw away the metals we better take them and make profit,” said a man who only identified himself as Makau.

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Mary Nyamwaro, a shopkeeper in Pipeline area, said that she saw a lot of lorries loaded with metals and building stones leaving the mall’s compound.

“A number of loaded pickups and lorries have been entering and leaving the compound,” she said.

Demolition of Airgate Center commenced on Saturday morning under heavy police security.

At some point police officers engaged members of the public who wanted to loot property as demolition went on in running battles.

A number of youths were later arrested during the skirmishes.

The building, which the government declared stands on a road reserve, is owned by Rameshchandra Gorasia.