Residents of Kyua-Katangi on Sunday witnessed a series of tragedies when an alleged first responder in an accident scene died after falling into a 80ft well.
And efforts to retrieve the body of the man were thwarted after other responders encountered a python in the deep hole.
It all started when the 25-year-old man went to rescue victims of a road accident that had occurred at Kyua on the Machakos-Kitui road.
He unfortunately fell into the uncovered pit.
Director of Emergency Services in Machakos County David Mwongela, however, alleged that the deceased was looting from a victim when he escaped in a nearby shamba where the well had been dug.
“Emergency Dispatch Control received a distress call reporting a person who slipped into a pit more than 100ft deep at Katangi area along Mks-Kitui road. It’s alleged that he was looting from RTA victims along the highway and, while rushing to hide his proceeds, slipped into the pit,” read a statement from Mr Mwongela.
Mr Mwongela said that efforts by volunteers turned futile when they were turned back by a huge python inside the pit.
“We are mobilising resources, including volunteers, for this very risky operation to retrieve the body despite the hindrance by the python,” he added.
As a water source
According to locals, the pit had been dug some time back to be used as a water source.
A witness, Antony Kilundu, said the pit was invisible since grass had grown, covering it.
He said the man had gone to collect some of the stuff scattered on the fence when the incident occurred.
But Thadeus Kisavi, a local businessman, denied the allegation that the deceased was looting from the victims saying that he was trying to save a woman who had been thrown to the fence by a moving vehicle.
“Since the pit is too deep we cannot see inside and with the hot temperatures, the body could be rotting by now. The county government is yet to send a rescue team,” said Mr Kisavi.
He said a man who had risked it all to rescue the deceased encountered the python, forcing him to abandon the mission.
On Monday, residents of Kyua blocked the Machakos-Kitui road blaming the government for failing to send skilled people to retrieve the body from the pit.
But Mr Mwongela said that Machakos county government had dispatched a team of experts to retrieve the body.
“In addition to this, we are engaging more relevant agencies together with police, county inspectorate, and volunteers,” he said.
At first, when fire fighters arrived at the scene, their ladder was too short, thereby thwarting the rescue efforts. The body was retrieved on Monday at 4pm.
“The Katangi/Kyua incident operation is now successful. Firefighters jointly with members of the public have finally retrieved the body from the 80ft deep pit using a rope and rescue lines. The rescue team anchored the rescue lines/ropes on a strong base and harnessed on the rescue ladder to facillitate officers to go down (and) secure the body, which had slipped headlong, inside the pit,” said Mr Mwongela.
“This is operation is now condsidered successful and declared over. Body handed over to police for onward transportation to Mks L5 (Machakos Level Five) morgue. The community is very thankful in appreciation for the successful operation enabled by the County Government of Machakos (sic).”