Written by Protus Simiyu
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The body of one of the builders that was retrieved Tuesday morning by the Kenya Red Cross Bungoma branch before the rescue operation was called off. Photos/ Protus Simiyu.
Bungoma Police have called off recovery efforts after at least one person was confirmed dead and five others seriously injured on Monday after a building which was under construction collapsed on them.
The operation was called off after one body was retrieved Tuesday morning and taken to Bungoma Hospital Mortuary.
The body of James Were, 20, from Busia County was retrieved after six hours of operation led by the Kenya Red Cross Bungoma branch and the provincial administration.
Bungoma Police Boss Amos Cheboi disclosed that there was no other person reported missing according to the list of the foreman at the construction site.(Read: One dead in Bungoma as building under construction collapses
Cheboi said there were 72 people at the site when the building collapsed and only the deceased was reported missing by yesterday evening.
“Now that his body has been retrieved and identified, we have no reason to continue with the rescue mission, but we urge the public to report to the police any person missing who might have visited the construction site,’’ he said.
The Bungoma OCPD Amos Cheboi and the KRC Bungoma branch Chair Dr. Amin Sheikh at the construction site where they called off the rescue opeation
The OCPD said the construction site is now a protected area hence members of the public will not be allowed to avert a similar incident and public looting.
The Bungoma County Public Works officer, Mr. Reuben Ruto urged members of the public to avoid speculation on the possible course of the collapse saying his office will give a comprehensive report once investigations are through.
Mr. Ruto could not ascertain as to when the report could be ready, “The investigation is forensic and it will take time to go through the rambles before we can come up with our final findings.”
The Public Works officer noted that they will work closely with the Bungoma Municipal Council engineers who are responsible for private developers in Bungoma town.
On his party the chairman of Kenya Red Cross Bungoma Branch Dr. Amin Sheikh thanked his team for responding within 30 minutes after the incident occurred for a rescue mission.
In addition he applauded members of the public for maintaining calm throughout the operation asserting that in other areas, members of the public could take advantage and loot property.
Dr. Amin confirmed that only one person died and his body was retrieved, two admitted at Bungoma District Hospital in stable condition.
He said Kenya Red Cross in Bungoma County will remain alert especially during such calamities as evidenced during the Marakaru accident where 8 pupils of Mungeti Primary and 1 of Marakaru Primary died when they were rammed by a lorry.
Further, he disclosed that they were able to save more lives while disclosed that six pupils died on the spot while the other three succumbed before reaching the hospital.
He said out the 54 pupils who were involved in the incident, only one female pupil is still admitted at the Nairobi National hospital with the rest at home in readiness to resume school next week for second term.
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