NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – Desperate times call for desperate measures and more so if it is about saving your life.
A saying whose absolute sense to Vincent Bosire on January 15, when five terrorists blasted their way at 14 Riverside Drive and started shooting indiscriminately.
He spent two hours inside a fridge they use for training at the LG electronics offices located on the third floor of Hanover building within the expansive complex.
Two hours of agony, meditation, and prayers inside a fridge.
“I only left a small space to allow the flow of air,” the father of three told Capital FM News on Wednesday when he went to pick his personal belongings, a week after the deadly incident.
Inside the room where he was hiding, a female colleague hid inside a washing machine.
“I started thinking about my children, life…” he said.
-Human leg and scattered ‘meat’-
It was just another afternoon in the office and from his desk, Bosire could see the well-maintained lawns outside Secret Garden restaurant.
Nothing seemed unusual as people moved up and about minding their own businesses.
About 3.30pm, he heard a loud explosion and on peeping through the window, Bosire saw a scene he had only seen in a movie.
“I saw a human leg and what looked like meat scattered all over. People were running in all directions,” he narrated.
This was followed by gunshots and it is at that point he realized they were under attack but was not sure whether they were robbers or terrorists.
He lost a colleague James Odour alias Cobra.
“We tried to get downstairs but there were more people coming to our side (upstairs). The only option was to hide within our offices. That is how I got to the LG training area,” he said.
The memories of the fateful day remain vivid, but he said with time “we shall heal.”
They were later rescued by Kenyan Special Forces who went combing through their building.
“It was a scary rescue because police were armed and ready to fire at the slightest provocation,” an emotional Bosire said.
While this was happening, his colleague at the marketing department Edward Mureithi was getting back from a meeting.
About 300 hundred meters, he heard gunshots.
“I knew all was not well. I kept my distance as I enquired what was happening,” he said.
About their departed colleague, Cobra, they said he was a “fun person to be around” while recalling one incident when they were in Tanzania for team building.
“He was asked about his long beard by a police officer and jokingly, he told them, my beard belong to the church – we all laughed,” Mureithi recalled, creating a thinly veiled smile in their gloomy faces.
-It was third life-threatening incident-
The incident was the third in Paul Kamau’s life though of a higher proportions.
His first two incidents happened more than 23 years ago when thugs attacked their home in Limuru, Kiambu County.
In both incidents, they were armed with guns and crude weapons. He survived.
“It is like I was being prepared for this day (January 15),” he said.
Though shaken, Kamau told Capital FM News that he was the one giving courage to his colleagues at Safari Trains offices.
And all through his two hours while hiding under the table, he would encourage them to stay calm while assuring them that all shall be well.
“I did not know how but I was confident that we shall walk out of the place safely,” he said.
The more than 700 people rescued during the attack have a story to tell including Stella Wangui an employee of Nielson located on the first floor of Belgravia building.
“We all whispered a word to God during our agony in hiding. I would also text relatives and friends,” she said.
Wangui who is yet to come to terms with the events of the fateful day came in the company of her husband to fetch the car she abandoned last week
Before releasing the cars police asked for an original identity card, an original copy of the logbook among other personal details.
Ten suspects have since been arraigned in court over the attack so far, with police allowed to detain them for a month to complete investigations, while more than 10 others are in custody.