One person has died and three others injured after a quarry they were mining sand collapsed burying them alive in Konoin Sub-County in Bomet County.
The 17-year-old boy died on the spot after rubble fell on him after the walls of the quarry in Taach-Asis near Kimulot shopping centre caved in. His three colleagues escaped death by a whisker after sustaining bruises as other workers moved in quickly to remove debris to rescue them.
One of them sustained serious injuries and was rushed to AIC mission Hospital in Kericho County for treatment. The two who escaped with bruises were treated at Chetalal sub-county hospital and discharged.
Authorities said Emanuel Kirui, 17, a pupil at Meswondo Primary School was leading his friends during the mining escapade.
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Working at the quarry mines had been declared illegal by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) but due to poverty, miners found no alternative source of earning but went back to quarries.
Satiet location acting Chief David Meridany said the parents were not aware the boys were engaged in sand mining. Maridany said the boys took advantage that there was no one around the quarry and decided to dig up sand to sell.
The administrator said underage children engaging in sand mining in the area was rampant. Maridany said, “During weekend school-going children flood quarries in the area with some working with their parents.”
He regretted that the move had occasioned a huge school drop out in the area. “We also have cases of pupils dropping out to engage in the mining of sand and should be addressed since it is a ticking time bomb,” he added.
County Disaster Management officer, Mr Stanley Mutai said it took locals and Red Cross officials nearly one hour to reach the 17 feet deep ground mine to rescue the three and retrieve the body.
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