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Three buried alive, two seriously injured by landslide during sand harvesting in Makueni

By Stephen Nzioka | Published Tue, December 19th 2017 at 14:05, Updated December 19th 2017 at 16:28 GMT +3
Three people on Monday night were buried alive by a landslide at River Kwa Muvai in Kiongwani (Photo: Courtesy)

Three people on Monday night were buried alive by a landslide at River Kwa Muvai in Kiongwani, Kilome sub-county in Makueni County as they were scooping sand from a river.

According to police primary report, there were five people who were loading a truck with sand from the river before an  avalanche of wet sand curved in as they were rushing to have their business done before dawn. Three out of the five sand harvesters died on the spot.

However, the two others were rescued by good Samaritans with help of police officers in early morning hours and rushed to Sultan Hamud sub-county hospital where they are undergoing treatment with serious injuries.

“The incident happened at midnight. Three people have been found dead in the morning and two others have been rushed to hospital for treatment”, said Mr. Zack Bitok, Kilungu OCPD.

He said that the landslide was caused by the sand miners who continue scooping sand caving inside the river walls with large lumps of sand above them.

However, the Standard established that the heavy downpour that had been experienced in lower Eastern region had destablised river banks  making it easyfor them to curve in once hollows are created by sand harvesters.

Police officers with the help of the local community continued with the search for more bodies feared to be buried in the sand.

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Police are searching for the truck driver who fled the scene leaving behind the trapped workers and the lorry which was partially covered by the landslide. 

The bodies were  taken to Kilungu sub-county hospital mortuary  pending  identification.

This happened barely months after the Makueni Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana challenged the new County Assembly to review the Makueni sand harvesting and utilization Act, 2015  to regulate sand-harvesting as cartel defy county sand laws.

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