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Witnesses recall tragic Kyanguli dormitory fire

By Fred Makana | Oct 16th 2014 | 2 min read
Emotional parents of students who perished at Kyanguli Secondary School on the night of March 26th 2001 at the Milimani High Court during the hearing of the case in which 63 students perished in a ?re tragedy that engulfed the domitory in which they were sleeping.PHOTO.FIDELIS KABUNYI

NAIROBI, KENYA: Emotions ran high at a Milimani court when teachers and parents of the 63 students who perished in a dormitory fire 13 years ago heard witness accounts of the fateful night.

Abbas Esmail, a lawyer for the parents, had to console Jackson Kioko Muindi - a teacher at Kyanguli Secondary School - when he broke down several times as he testified. The session had to be interrupted amid parents' sobs.

The case is filed against the Government by the parents whose children died. They are seeking an unquantified amount of money in compensation.

The parents have named the former school principal David Kiilu and his deputy Stephen Makau, the Teachers Service Commission and the Attorney General as defendants in their compensation claim.

Mr Muindi and his colleague Solomon Malingu recounted before Justice Joseph Sergon how they were woken up by students' cries on the fateful night of March 26, 2001.

"I was woken up by students who had suffered burns. They knocked and banged the door of my house. There were screams and wailing in the school compound," Mr Malingu recalled.

He said it was about 1.30am when the students told him a dormitory was on fire. Malingu said he dashed to the principal's house and woke him up after which they took the injured students to Machakos Hospital for treatment.

He said he also called the school driver to help evacuate the burnt students. The hearing continues.

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