Kericho trench collapse: 3 workers dead, one missing

kericho trench collapse

The site at Tebsy estate in Kericho County, where a trench collapsed on May 19, 2023, leaving at least one of five workers dead.

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

One more body was retrieved Saturday from a trench in Kericho County, whose walls collapsed on Friday as five workers dug it out.

One of the workers at Tebsy estate escaped with bruises as he jumped out before an entire wall collapsed at about midday. The other four were buried alive while digging out the trench that was two feet wide and 20 feets deep.

By the close of the search on Friday, one of the four workers had been found dead while another had been found alive.

On Saturday evening, authorities reported finding another body, as well as the death in hospital of the worker who was found alive on Friday.

The worker whose body was retrieved on Saturday was identified as Evans Mayaka Ogari, a 46-year-old father of five. 

Mr Peter Mutuma, the Kericho East Sub-county police commander, confirmed the recovery and said the body was taken to the Kericho County Referral Hospital mortuary.

Josephine Kemunto, kericho trench collapse

Josephine Kemunto, whose husband Evans Mayaka Ogari died when a trench collapsed on workers on duty at Tesby in Kericho County, as pictured on May 20, 2023 at the scene of the accident. 

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

Mayaka's widow, Josephine Kemunto, earlier told journalists that her husband was the family's sole breadwinner and that he worked very hard to provide for them.

"He has been doing manual jobs in Kericho town to provide for us. The news of his being buried alive has been devastating," Ms Kemunto said before the body was found.

Mr Emmanuel Mogaka, the couple's eldest son, said he lived with his father at the Duka Moja area in Kericho town. He said they last saw each other while leaving for work on Friday morning.

There was uproar and anxiety on Saturday morning when the rescue mission was delayed for lack of equipment.

It resumed in the afternoon, led by police officers, officers of the Kenya Red Cross Society and teams from the Kericho County disaster management team and Kenya Power, who used a bulldozer and two excavators.

Mr Brian Langat, the Kericho County Executive Committee (CEC) member in charge of Lands and Physical Planning, said he would liaise with the police to ensure those behind the project are prosecuted for negligence