Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna and Basic Education PS Dr Belio Kipsang on Tusday February 4th 2020, visited Kakamega Primary School where 14 pupils died following a stampede on Monday February 3rd 2020, evening.
14 pupils lost their lives in the incident, and as at midnight Monday, two pupils were at the Kakamega Referral Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 39 others nursing injuries.
Education CS Magoha confirmed the 14 deaths on the dreadful night to a local media station and sent his condolences to the bereaved parents saying, “the loss of a child is very painful”. The town’s Police Chief David Kabena who confirmed the incident said it is not clear why the stampede began, and investigations are underway to establish what exactly happened.
14 Pupils Die in Kakamega School Stampede
Fourteen pupils of Kakamega Primary School lost their lives with several others injured on February 3rd 2020, evening following a stampede at their school.
The unfathomable calamity took place on the third floor of the five-storey building at 5.30pm when the pupils, most of whom are in Grade Six and five, were leaving for home.
According to some of the pupils, the tragedy happened when one of them who was leading others downstairs tried to block her colleagues mid-way along the staircase on the third floor. Some of them then pushed back to force their way down the stairs and in the process piled up on each other.
The stampede at the narrow staircase become worse when other pupils responded to the screams of their colleagues, pushing and shoving each other and in the process falling over one another and other falling down to the ground floor.
Alphaville Keng’ore, a Grade 5 pupil while speaking to local journalists said, “I was going downstairs after classes when I heard some boys behind me playfully push each other. It is something they often do. In no time, however, a commotion ensued and some of those who were on the staircase fell off others. I lost my footing when pushed and other students fell on top of me.
“I remained pinned down until help came from boda boda operators nearby. I was hurt on the leg but was lucky to have been taken to a nearby clinic where I was treated and discharged,” He added.
There was no teacher beating students as had been alleged. Keng’ore was disputing claims that a teacher was behind the scare that caused the stampede.
At the school compound, parents, relatives and the public gathered in small groups dreadfully looking for their children. Those that confirmed the news of their kids’ demise simply crumpled in grief, wailing and seeking answers from the school authorities as to what had happened and how a normal school day could end in unimaginable grief.
By: Linzer Kibebe