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Floods kill 7, 11 others missing in Kenya

Friday May 04 2018
By COLLINS OMULO

At least seven people have died and 11 missing after being swept away by raging floods in Ongata Rongai, a town situated 17 km south of Nairobi .

Residents on Friday told the Nation that five of the victims were crossing the bridge when they met their deaths on Thursday evening.

The five— four Standard Gauge Railway construction workers and a woman— were trying to cross the bridge that links Kandisi and Ongata Rongai when they drowned.

The other two, a woman and her son, were killed by floods inside their house near Kiserian.

The bridge, which is still under construction, was funded by the county government of Kajiado.

According to witnesses, the dead were part of Rongai residents who were caught by the heavy rains on the Kandisi side of the seasonal river.

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The rains that pounded several parts of Kenya on Thursday wreaked havoc for commuters and motorists in towns, including the capital Nairobi.

A resident, who sought anonymity for personal reasons, said a pastor who was with the four men escaped death narrowly after he refused to join them in crossing the swollen river.

Damage

Bodies were still scattered on the banks of the river as at 10am as locals milled at the bridge to assess damage and search for their loved ones.

Police arrived later with the bodies of the woman and her son, who died in their house in Kiserian, to collect the other five.

Reports indicate the woman and her son had escaped to safe grounds but met their deaths when they went back to their house to salvage their belongings.

Angry families accused police of laxity and neglect, saying lives of the missing people could have been saved had the officers intervened in good time.

They also questioned the disaster preparedness of Governor David Nkedianye's government and demanded they he dispatch rescue teams to search for the missing people.

At some point, the situation turned chaotic as locals blocked the Magadi-Kiserian road to protest over the deaths.

They chased away the Kajiado county commissioner and temporarily blocked police from collecting the bodies.

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