Three dead, scores trapped in collapsed Isiolo gold mine

A view of Kom trading centre in Merti sub county in Isiolo County. Three people have been confirmed dead while scores trapped in tens of feets underground. Rescue team from Kenya and British army currently underway. [Ali Abdi, Standard]

Three people died and scores others were injured after an illegal gold mine they were working in collapsed in Isiolo County.

The over 20 feet deep makeshift mine in Kom Location Merti Sub county collapsed with several miners trapped inside.

Isiolo County Commissioner George Omoding confirmed the three deaths adding rescue teams from the Kenyan and British Armies were working on the site with local teams.

The officers from from Kenya and British armies who are currently conducting joint jungle military exercise at Lalesoro, Archers Post in Samburu County offered assistance at the site after word spread of the tragedy..

"Three people have been pulled out of the mine and have been pronounced dead at the scene, We don't have details yet on how many were trapped inside but the army is assisting us," he said.

All roads from Kenya and the larger East Africa Community (EAC) was leading to the the once deserted Kom, Sabarwawa and Quro Bisanowo in mid 2020 during the height of COVID-19 after a herder stumbled on gold.

The triangle that borders Samburu and Marsabit counties had been a battle ground where dozens had been killed and thousands of livestock stolen, with the latest incident reported yesterday.

The area is endowed with pastures and natural springs.

It had over the years attracted rival herders from the three counties who frequently clashed, according to a report from National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

But the deserted Kom finally burst to life after the discovery of gold deposits and now has the tag of the second busiest centre, after the County capital Isiolo Town.