, MERU, Kenya, May 5 – A man was killed and another seriously injured when a quarry they were digging caved in near a riverbed in Imenti South District, burying them alive.
The dead man’s body was retrieved by Red Cross officials on Monday evening, a day after the quarry caved in.
Meru branch Red Cross coordinator Gitonga Mugambi said on Tuesday that another miner, Paul Kaburu, suffered cuts in the head and legs.
“They had been buried alive by falling rocks and mud,” he said.
Members of the public, mostly men who eke out a living from the expansive mines, assisted the Red Cross team in retrieving the bodies.
On Sunday, both the deceased and Mr Kaburu were mining rocks at the 15-kilometre wide quarry when a mudslide occurred owing to the heavy rains that have been pounding the area for the past week.
Mr Mugambi has now called on the government to close down the quarry, complaining that 30 people had already lost their lives since 2003.
“We are calling on the government to close down the quarry since it’s a disaster waiting to happen. The people have dug rocks in a slanting manner and rocks can start falling anytime,” he appealed at the scene.
He called on the government to level the rocks so that they no longer posed a risk to the 800 miners who currently rely on it for a living.
At some stage in the rescue mission on Monday, three huge rocks caved in but nobody was injured.
“During the ongoing rainy season, anything can happen. It is good that the government closes down the quarry until safety measures are put in place,” said Mr Mugambi.
The body of the deceased has been taken to the Meru District Hospital mortuary.