Double tragedy as family in Vihiga lose two daughters to lightining

Lightning strike. [iStockphoto]

A family in Vihiga County has suffered a double tragedy after their two daughters were struck by lightning.

Philip Mundia told The Standard that his daughters went to collect food at Luanda trading centre but decided to take shelter inside one of the kiosks at the market when the rains started pounding before lightning struck, killing both on the spot.

They were in the company of a woman who had earlier joined them in the kiosk and died in the lightning tragedy. "Usually, my daughters walk about five kilometers from our home at Mundichi village to collect food at Luanda market, I had called them at around 5pm to remind them about the food but it never occurred to me that they would die," said Mundia, a boda boda rider.

The father of two was shocked when he visited the scene and found the bodies of Rose Ayuma,16, and Tecla Ng'eta,13, lying on the floor. A friend had earlier called him to inquire whether he was aware of the lightning incident which had claimed three lives including two those two teenage girls on Sunday evening.

"I was not aware but I promised to get back to my friend immediately after I had visited the scene. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the bodies of Rose, who is a form three student at Obunaka secondary school, and Tecla, a pupil at Ebusakami Primary School lying lifeless people milled around to see what had happened," said Mundia.

He was at Maseno market when it started raining about 200 meters away from the scene which is a stone's throw from the boda boda shed where he operates every day. "I decided to rush home to pick a jacket after the rains stopped and I knew my daughters were on the way with the food, I never knew they were no more, I can't believe they are dead," said Mundia.

"I had a strange feeling when my friend called to inquire about the victims of the lightning because he mentioned two girls, my daughters had not arrived home." "It was devastating to see the bodies with one of them still holding the food they had gone to collect, usually they prepare meals for themselves every day, they have been doing it since I lost their mother in 2011." Mundia,40, said the sisters loved each other and always walked together like twins.

"They cherish each other's company and do all the chores together, it is surprising that they also died together in the lighting tragedy, it pains a lot to know that I will be able to see them again, they were everything I was left with," said the devastated father.

So far, the family has embarked on burial arrangements while urging the county government of Vihiga to intervene and help Mundia give his daughters a befitting send-off. The three bodies were taken to Coptic Hospital Funeral Parlor at Maseno in Luanda constituency by police officers who visited the scene moments after the incident.