17 injured as water tank collapses in Homa Bay town

Homa Bay Water Tank Collapse

An elevated water tank at Homa Bay Stadium that collapsed on business stalls at Sofia Market. 17 people were injured.

Photo credit: George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group

Seventeen people are admitted to Homa Bay County Teaching and Referral Hospital after an overhead water tank collapsed on their stalls at Sofia Market in Homa Bay Town.

The 17, including five men, sustained injuries. One had serious injuries and had to be taken for X-ray for doctors to ascertain the type of injuries he had.

Hospital CEO Peter Ogolla said the patient complained of difficulties in breathing. "He has been rushed to the ward. The others will be attended to at the accident and emergency centre," he said.

The Thursday morning accident saw a 21,000-litre water tank collapse at an area used for business. The tank is within Homa Bay stadium and supplies the sports facility with water.

It is not clear what led to the tank’s collapse, but some people claim it was due to shoddy work in putting it up.

The tank was part of a construction project going on at the stadium. It stored water pumped from a borehole at the site, and was full at the time of the accident.

Witnesses said they heard sounds from metal tower supporting the tank, before all the water was spilt to the ground and the tank tumbled down.

Ms Aziza Akinyi, a shop keeper at Sofia market said she recalled water sweeping away the walls of her shop.

"I had just opened a shop to start a business when I heard a loud bang. It was followed by water sweeping through the shop," she said. Within moments, her shop was flooded. All her merchandise was swept away. She was rushed into an ambulance before being taken to hospital.

Ms Jane Achieng, who runs a food kiosk, also recalls hearing a loud bang. She was serving customers when her kiosk was destroyed by the water.

"I did not know what was happening outside. I only saw water getting into the kiosk before I rushed outside to seek help," she said.

Those who were taken to hospital include a three- month-old infant and her mother. Both were at the market when the accident happened.

Dr Ogolla said some of the injuries were from water pressure while other people were cut by metal as they ran from the scene.

"Most of the injuries are minor. They are cut wounds on the face and limbs. We'll let the patients go home after observation," the doctor said.