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Student dies after balcony collapses in Chuka

Saturday December 07 2019
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The balcony of a building collapsed in Chuka on December 7, 2019. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ALEX NJERU

One person died and 13 other were injured after a bar balcony collapsed in Chuka, Tharaka-Nithi.

The victim was a student at Kenyatta University and the survivors are all students at Chuka University.

Meru South Deputy County Commissioner Albanas Ndiso said the students were drinking beer when the balcony collapsed at 1am.

The victim died on the spot.

CRITICAL

“One died and 13 are receiving treatment at the Chuka County Referral Hospital,” said Mr Ndiso.

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He added that four are in critical condition.

Mr Ndiso said the owner of the Coco Lounge bar was immediately arrested and is being held at Chuka Police Station. He will arraigned on Monday, Mr Ndiso said.

Following the incident, Tharaka-Nithi County Physical Planning and Housing executive Jasper Nkanya ordered his officers to investigate and establish what caused the collapse of the balcony at the recently constructed building.

He asked contractors working in the region to strictly adhere to the Construction Authority requirements to avoid such horrible incidences.

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The owner of the bar was arrested following the incident. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“As a county government we will not compromise standards in construction of houses,” said Mr Nkanya.

Students who witnessed the incident said the balcony collapsed when the bar was full of revellers, mostly Chuka University students.

“I heard a big bang followed by screams and I rushed outside,” said Elijah Magana, student at the university. “We found several of our colleagues on the writhing in pain on the ground as they called for help.”

James Kamau, another student, said most of the injured were hit by debris.

The incidence comes barely a week after a nominated member of Tharaka-Nithi County Assembly, Ms Anita Mbae, tabled a motion at the county assembly seeking scrutiny of all commercial and residential houses in the county towns and markets to ensure that they are safe.

In the motion that was endorsed unanimously, Ms Mbae said some houses in Chuka town that are in a deplorable state.

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