One child killed, eight hurt as device explodes

A bomb expert from the Kenya Defence Forces arrives at the scene of a bomb explosion at Victors Children’s Home in Isiolo on Monday. [Bruno Mutunga, Standard]
A 12-year-old child died while at least eight others were seriously wounded when an unexploded ordinance (UXO) exploded at a children’s home in Isiolo West on Monday.

The incident happened inside Victors Children’s Home at Lotiki, near Emegen Primary School in Burat Ward about 5km west of Isiolo town.

There have been several deaths in the past attributed to similar devices near military training areas in Isiolo, Archers Post in Samburu and Dol Dol in Laikipia.

Emegen is also located near Kenya Wildlife Service camp.

The area borders Kenya army’s School of Infantry (SOI) and the army conducts training there but the ordinance could as well be one buried during the Second World War when the British and Italians fought in the area.

The police had little details on the incident but said a child died and five others were wounded, adding they were playing with the object that looked like a football when it exploded.

‘‘Those injured have been taken to Isiolo Referral hospital with shrapnel in their bodies but they need to be taken to other bigger facilities as Isiolo cannot handle the matter,’’ said a medic at Isiolo who is not authorised to speak to the press.

A teacher at Emegen, who declined to be identified, said one of the wounded is a candidate for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations, which start today.

The object exploded metres away from one of the dormitories. The children had earlier celebrated a party courtesy of a mobile phone provider.

Another bomb was also found nearby by experts from the military.

Isiolo County Commissioner John Ondego said the explosive might be that of the Second World War.

“Such incidences have been happening, children unknowingly collect the devices and play with then unknowingly of the dangers it lurks,” said Mr Ondego.

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