A man was miraculously pulled out alive from a 100 feet gold mine where he had been buried alive for 24 hours in Rongo, Migori County.
Basil Ochieng gasped for breath and asked for water soon after he was rescued before being rushed to Rongo Sub County Hospital on Thursday.
This came as a relief for a team of rescuers from the Kenya Red Cross Society, Migori County Government, police and workers of a Chinese company constructing the Migori-Kisii road.
Mr Ochieng was buried alive on Wednesday at 10am after walls of the mine caved in as his three colleagues escaped. The rescuers used an excavator to remove heaps of soil that had covered him.
For close to two hours, the rescuers could hear him calling for help but hopes of finding him alive faded after he went quiet.
“God is great. I knew I could not come out alive. I saw death. God has worked miracles,” said Ochieng as he drank water.
He said the mine was pitch dark as more rocks kept falling on him as the excavator dug in.
“I survived on water at the bottom of the mine. I tried to crawl through the thick soil by digging it using a 6-inch nail I had. I could hear the rumble of the excavator and I shouted that I was still alive,” Ochieng said.
Miraculously at 12.20pm, rescuers heard his frail voice. The people went in prayer and some broke into ululations as a bare-chested Ochieng was pulled from the soil.
The County Minister for Environment, Elizabeth Ochaye who coordinated the rescue thanked the volunteers as she called off the exercise.
A Nursing officer at Rongo Sub County Hospital Andrew Amollo, said Ochieng was out of danger. “We have admitted him for observation but he is out of danger,” he said.