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Two feared dead after 50m pit collapses in Mombasa

The bodies of two men who perished in a 50-metre deep pit after its walls collapsed in Junda area, Mombasa County, on Monday were still trapped more than 24 hours after the tragic incident.

Witnesses said the two, identified as Emmanuel Karisa, 50, and Katana Kahindi, 28, were covered in mud after the walls of the pit yielded.

Karisa was digging the pit when the walls suddenly collapsed on him at around 1pm on Monday. In an effort to rescue the digger, Kahindi and his colleague Sammy Ngala went in to retrieve his body when the walls also caved in on them.

Residents managed to rescue Ngala, who is being treated at the district referral hospital.

The residents blamed the two tiers of government for their slow response in rescuing the men.

“We are disappointed with the way the national government through the area chief and the county government are taking this matter lightly even though it was reported to them,” said a resident of Junda, Hesbond Osumba.

Mombasa County government officials said they had stopped residents from trying to retrieve the bodies to prevent further disasters.

County Executive Committee member for sports Kenneth Ambani, who was at the scene, said the county had hired two experts who were on their way.

As of Tuesday afternoon, efforts were still underway to find out how the bodies will be recovered as overnight rains have further loosened the soil, making operations difficult.

“We urge the local people to stop their efforts to recover the two bodies. The type of soil is light, it needs skilled people to undertake the exercise,” he added.

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