One dead, 2 missing after trench collapses in Kericho

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 person died Friday while two could not be found after a trench that five people were digging collapsed in Kericho town on Friday afternoon.

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.

"The victims were digging the trench [for] a sewer line when the wall tumbled down, burying them alive," said a senior police officer who declined to be named and to give further information, saying a statement would be issued later.

kericho trench collapse

Members of the public at the scene of the collapse of a trench at Tebsy estate in Kericho County on May 19, 2023.

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

Later in the day, one body was retrieved and one person found alive.

Mr Peter Mutuma, the Kericho East Sub-county police commander, said the body was found at 3pm - three hours after the collapse was reported.

Regarding the survivor, he said, "Miraculously, the man was found alive [four hours later] and was rushed to Kericho County Referral Hospital. He is in a stable condition."

Hundreds of residents jammed the scene to watch events unfold, as a combined team searched for the other victims.

The search was conducted 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.

Police took the body to the Kericho County Referral Hospital mortuary.

At nightfall, the officers suspended their search until Saturday morning.