Police complete bodies' recovery at Kericho trench collapse

Kericho trench

The scene of the accident where workers were buried alive in Kericho on Friday afternoon, which was sealed off by the police. 

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai I Nation Media Group

Three workers died while two survived when a trench they were digging  buried them in Kericho town.

Police said the operation to retrieve the bodies had been completed with all the workers accounted for.

"We have officially closed the recovery mission after all those who were involved in the unfortunate accident were accounted for," Mr Peter Mutuma, the Kericho East Sub County Police Commander said on Sunday.

Mr Mutuma confirmed that two bodies were retrieved from the collapsed trench, while one worker who was rescued alive three hours after the accident, later died in hospital.

Two workers escaped with minor injuries and were treated and discharged at Kericho County Referral hospital.

Bodies of the victims are lying at the Kericho County Referral Hospital Mortuary awaiting postmortem and subsequent release to next of kin for burial.

The incident occurred near Tebsy estate- an upmarket residential area in Kericho town on Friday.

It took the police two days to undertake the rescue and recovery operation with the help of Kenya Red Cross Society, the Kenya Power Company and Kericho County Disaster Management Department.

On Sunday, the scene was still sealed off by the police with investigations having been launched into the incident.

Names of victims

"The trench which the workers were digging for the laying of a sewer line is 20 feet's deep and two feets wide," Mr Mutuma said.

Well wishers donated escavators and other earth moving equipment for use in the operation following the incident.

Names of two of the victims have not been released save for - Evans Mayaka Ogari - a 46 years old worker whose body was retrieved on Saturday evening.

Ms Josephine Kemunto, the deceased's wife and the couple's son Emmanuel Mogaka confirmed that the body was indeed that of Ogari.

"It is unfortunate that my husband had to die the way he did, when he was fending for his family.It is very devastating ad he was the sole breadwinner for the family," Ms Kemunto said.

Mr Brian Langat the Kericho County Executive in charge of Lands and Urban Planning said the devolved government unit will collaborate with the police to ensure the families of the workers get Justice for the loss.