, KIAMBU, Kenya, Nov 19 – One person died while another escaped with injuries following the collapse of a perimeter wall in a six-storey building at a construction site in Kiambu County on Saturday morning.
The two were among 13 construction workers who were at the site when the wall caved in on them while digging a trench.
They were trapped for several hours as frantic efforts by locals who tried to evacuate them hit a dead end prompting them to call the Kiambu County fire fighters who came to their aid.
According to Dennis Mariga, who was among the first eyewitnesses at the scene, the residents found the foreman at the construction site already dead with the other 11 workers having escaped from the ordeal unhurt.
“We heard cracks then afterwards we saw people screaming,” he said. “Most of the people in the neighborhood came to see what had happened. We tried our best to rescue them but we found one person already dead… we then called the police.”
Kiambaa Police Chief Wilberforce Sicharani said investigations had already commenced to reveal what caused the collapse.
“One of those who was trapped inside – the foreman – passed on and the other one has survived but with injuries,” he said.
“It is the perimeter wall of the next building that collapsed covering the workers on the other side.”
Speaking to Capital FM News, Samuel Njuguna, the officer who coordinated the rescue operation by firefighters from the county said the rescue which lasted about an hour had to be meticulously planned and executed due to the wet soil in the area as a result of heavy rainfall.
“We had a challenge because other than the wet soil due to rain in the area, there was sewage coming in from the nearby estate,” he noted.
The injured worker was rushed to Kiambu Level Four Hospital as the body of the foreman was taken to Kihara sub-county hospital mortuary.