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Three students die in Bondo gold mine tragedy

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Three students die in Bondo gold mine tragedy

  • Isaiah Gwengi 10th Oct 2019 17:35:39 GMT +0300
The gold mine site where three miners died after it caved in on them. [Isaiah Gwengi, Standard]

Three gold miners all said to be students died in Nango, Bondo Sub-County, after a mine caved in covering them after a heavy downpour on Thursday. Police identified the victims as Nicholas Arwa, a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidate at Uyawi Secondary School, David Ochieng Duro studying at Egerton University Nakuru Campus, and Kevin Ochieng’ Juma- a secondary school student whose details remained scanty. Grief engulfed Mbuye village in Central Sakwa location as the family of Arwa mourned the untimely demise of their kin. The tragedy is said to have happened at dawn today. Save for Arwa, the two of the victims were visiting the mine for the first time.

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According to Arwa's father, Titus Ogonji, his son came home on Wednesday after he was reportedly sent to shave his hair. "I saw him when he came back home and he promised to go back to school the following day," said his father, adding that he received the news of his death at around 3 am. Ogonji, a father of 13 told The Standard that he heard people crying at night when he decided to get out of the house.

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He added, "I didn't know that my son was among the people who died in the quarry." The deceased's cousin, Oscar Nge'no narrated how he last spoke to him less than two weeks ago when he visited him in school.

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"I had gone to school for prayers for candidates and we shared a lot. He was optimistic about passing his forthcoming national exams," said Nge'no. Nge'no, who went to the same primary school with the deceased described him as humble and hard working. "The only time we separated was when we joined different secondary schools. My cousin aspired to be a soldier," he said. The area police boss Anthony Wafula confirmed that the bodies had been retrieved and taken to Bondo Sub-County Hospital mortuary. Wafula said they have already launched investigations into the incident.

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“We've decided to close all the mines in the area until all the safety measures are adhered to,” he said, adding that the miners defied a recent government directive stopping all the illegal mining activities at the Nango site due to safety reasons. The Egerton Universality student is said to be from South Nyanza and had gone to Bondo to visit a relative. It was not immediately established why he was not in college. Some sources, however, said the student may have dropped out of the University early in the year. "We are told he was a student at Egerton College but may have dropped out. It is also not clear what mission brought him to Bondo, " said Ng'eno. No one has claimed to know him alongside the other victim identified as Kevin Juma.

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