A middle aged man has died after a quarry he was working in in Wamwangi village, Gatundu South caved in.
Peter Gitau, 38 the owner of Gathiaka quarry was on a routine inspection of his only source of income when the tragedy struck on Thursday afternoon. His colleague was rescued by locals and other quarry workers who responded to his distress calls and rushed to Gatundu Level Five Hospital.
According to workers at the quarry, the deceased was assessing the quarry after it was blasted in the morning when a huge block of soil and stones collapsed and buried him together with his colleague.
“The quarry had been blasted in the morning to ease stone mining and we suspect that the impact from the blast made the soil above loose and caused the tragedy,” said Peter Gachanja, one of the workers.
Gachanja noted that lack of proper equipements at the quarry dented the rescue efforts. “We tried our best to rescue them but unfortunately our boss saccumbed,” he said.
Henry Kiruku, another worker raised concerns that they have been working under life-threatening circumstances at the quarries noting that this was the second incident in a span of six months. Another middle-aged man lost his life after huge boulders buried him while he was working at the quarry.
Kiruku said that joblessness has pushed many youths in the villages to work in the quarries to eke a living.
“No one would want to go back and work in a place his colleague died but we whave no option but to risk our lives too so as to put food on the table for our families. We dont want to turn into criminals or indulge ourselves in other antisocial vices and that’s why we toil and moil hard in these quarries,” Kiruku said.
They pleaded with the government to intervene and assist them with either protective gears or proper mining equipements to minimize such accidents and enable them thrive in the mining business.
“Alternatively both the county and national governments can create other job opportunities for youths in our villages. We are tired of losing our people in these quarries,” said resident George Thuo.
The deceased’s body was taken to Gatundu morgue.