Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lightning kills mother and seven children

The tragedy occurred at 7.30 p.m. A middle-aged mother died along with her seven children aged between two and 16.

Photo/FILE The tragedy occurred at 7.30 p.m. A middle-aged mother died along with her seven children aged between two and 16.  

By SUNDAY NATION TEAM [email protected]

A family of eight was killed when lightning destroyed their home in a village in Elgeyo-Marakwet County on Friday evening.

The bodies of the family members were burnt beyond recognition as were two sheep after lightning struck their home in Manjeiwa village, Keiyo South District.

Bits and pieces of kitchen utensils were strewn around the compound. A sombre mood fell on the remote village that has not witnessed such happenings in living memory.

The tragedy occurred at 7.30 p.m. A middle-aged mother died along with her seven children aged between two and 16.

The only living things that could be seen at the homestead were chickens.

Two other grass-thatched houses in the same compound were not affected.

The woman, Alice Chemugor, lived alone with her children after separating from her husband.

Joseph Letio, a neighbour, said that after the lightning struck, he saw fire and rushed to the homestead.

“When I arrived there, the house had already caved in, and when I peeped inside, I saw the bodies burning.

“On the other side were mutilated carcasses of two sheep that had been tethered near the house,” he said.

An elder, Moses Kaletio, said a cow had been killed when lightning struck the area a week earlier.

“This is the third incident since 1989,” he said. “We pray that the government will install lightning arresters as soon as possible,” he said.

Keiyo South DC Arthur Bunde said the district’s disaster management committee will seek funds to put up a lightning arrester.

The administrator explained: “For us to avert more calamities, we have to set up lighting arresters especially on public institutions as soon as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, two people died in different circumstances in Baringo County.

In the first incident in Baringo Central constituency, a Form Two student at Kabarnet High School died when he was electrocuted at Riwo area of Kabarnet division.

Connect power

Baringo police boss Ndung’u wa Ikonya said Emanuel Kurgat, 14, who had gone home for a mid-term break, had attempted to connect power from the main line to his hut.

In the other incident, Vivian Chebon, 25, died in Tartar village in Kabasis location when lightning struck her.

Patrick Komen, her husband, told the Sunday Nation that they were in their house around 6 p.m., and it was raining heavily.

“My wife was washing the house barefoot. Suddenly I saw her collapse,” he said.

She was taken to Kabarnet District Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Mr Ikonya cautioned residents against taking shelter under tall trees and walking barefoot in the rain to avoid more disasters.

Meanwhile, armed bandits killed two construction workers in an attack in Nakwamoru, Turkana South.

About 80 armed men descended on workers from Asis construction company that is working on the Ombolion-Nakwamoru rural road, killing the two machine operators.

Reported by Ouma Wanzala, Wycliff Kipsang and Samuel Koech