PHOTOS: Drama as prisons’ official ‘imprisoned’ in lift for over two hours

By Harold Odhiambo | Wednesday, Aug 21st 2019 at 09:20
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There was drama at the Kisumu High Court after a prison warder was stuck in a lift for more than two hours.

Tom Ongoro, a warder based at Kisumu Maximum Prison had just finished the process of collecting prison documents and had been looking forward to join his colleagues to escort inmates they had brought to court back to prison.

This however never came to be as his decision to take a lift in the second floor at the new court building immediately turned into a nightmare.

The lift malfunctioned after he entered the lift leaving the officer stranded for over two hours as authorities struggled to free him in what has brought the maintenance of the building under scrutiny.

A guard at the courts noticed that something was amiss when she noticed someone banging the lift.

More than 10 prison guards rushed in a desperate bid to rescue him but were unable to do so despite several attempts to forcefully open the door.

The guards protested the laxity by the court to address the emergency and free the guard. They claimed they were informed that a caretaker of the building had traveled to Nairobi with the key of the lift.

“We have been told that the caretaker of the building is not around and had traveled to Nakuru. We are wondering why they cannot call even the fire department to come and help,” protested an officer in anonymity.

The officers managed to create a small opening on the lift as the trapped prison guard continued to struggle to get fresh air.

A crowd of people including those who had just concluded their cases gathered within the court corridors to catch a glimpse of the drama.

After more than two hours of waiting, officials from the county government emergency department came to his rescue and forcefully opened the door of the lift and freed the warder.

Following his release, the warder questioned the emergency response of the court officials and lamented that such an emergency could have been more disastrous to other people.

“I fail to understand why it took them so long to come and rescue me. I am just trying to imagine if either a judge or magistrate could have been the one stuck what could have happened,” said Ongoro.

Court officials who asked not to be named however said that maintenance of the lift had been done in several occasions and claimed that the malfunction only happened once.

“The maintenance of the lift was done even yesterday in the morning,” said an official in anonymity.

The incident took place at a time when court users in some of the courts have been raising complaints over the conditions of some of the courts.

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