One dead in Kericho building collapse

The building which collapsed in Kericho on June 9, 2020. A six-year-old child died in the rubble while four other people were injured. PHOTO | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The body of the victim, a boy, was retrieved from the debris after a five-hour rescue mission.
  • Eye witnesses said the victim was trapped in the rubble as his mother attempted to evacuate him.
  • The collapsed structure is detached from two opposite blocks.
  • Residents of the estate said there had been seen cracks on the building.

A six-year-old child died in the rubble of the three-storey building which collapsed in Kericho town Tuesday evening.

Four other victims are admitted to the Kericho County Referral Hospital with slight injuries.

The body of the victim, a boy, was retrieved from the debris after a five-hour rescue mission spearheaded by the police, officers from the county disaster management department and with the help of the public.

“The victim was retrieved from the collapsed building and was declared dead on arrival at Kericho County Referral Hospital,” said County Police Commander Silas Gichunge.

TRAPPED

Eye witnesses said the victim was trapped in the rubble as his mother attempted to evacuate him when the incident happened at around 7.30pm on Tuesday.

The building is located several metres behind Sidian Bank, opposite the Kericho police headquarters on the Kericho-Nakuru highway.

The mother stuck with the police at the scene as they engaged in the rescue mission but when the body was retrieved, it was sneaked out without her realising it.

Mr Gichunge told journalists at the scene on Wednesday morning that six families were evacuated from the Tebs View Court building.

The collapsed structure is detached from two opposite blocks.

SAFETY REPORT

“Engineers from the National Construction Authority are still evaluating the safety of the two blocks to ascertain their safety. A decision will be communicated upon a report being compiled,” said Mr Gichunge.

Residents of the estate said there had been seen cracks on the building and informed the caretaker who made some repairs.

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony and Ainamoi MP Sylvanus Maritim cautioned engineers against approving buildings that are not structurally sound.

“As we condole with the bereaved family, I want to call on structural engineers to ensure that due diligence is undertaken in approving construction of housing units to avert disasters from occurring,” Prof Chepkwony said.

Mr Maritim said, “It is sad that the life of an innocent child has been lost due to negligence. Somebody must take responsibility for this and the relevant government institutions must take appropriate action.”