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Autopsies reveal Kakamega primary pupils died of suffocation

Six out of the 14 pupils who were killed in the tragic stampede at Kakamega Primary School on Monday died of suffocation, according to results of a postmortem examination.

Dr Dickson Mchana, the County General and Referral Hospital pathologist, said one of the pupils, Simeon Waweru had sustained a fracture on the left shoulder.

Speaking at the mortuary, Dr Mchana said they were conducting limited autopsies on the bodies of the pupils since the deaths were not contestable.

He said although autopsies for the pupils were still in progress, it is possible the learners died from asphyxiation.

Postmortem examinations on seven other bodies were still going on at the mortuary.

Authorities are working round the clock to finalise the examinations.

“We are also racing against time to finalise the postmortems and prepare the bodies for collection by the families for the funeral services to be held at Bukkhungu stadium Kakamega,” said Dr Mchana.

Another victim, Naiala Kiverenge, was buried on Wednesday at the Sunni Muslim cemetery in Kakamega.

Mr Framcis Waweru said his 10-year-old son, Simon Waweru sustained a fracture on his left shoulder.

“We loved our son and there is nothing we can do about what happened but pray to God to give us the strength to overcome the loss of our loved one,” said Mr Waweru after witnessing the autopsy.

This appears to confirm reports indicating that the pupils fell over each other during the stampede. Results of the autopsies on the bodies of seven other pupils were expected to be released after doctors were through with the examinations.

Police are still carrying out investigations and have recorded statements from teachers, pupils and other witnesses in a bid to establish what triggered the commotion, which claimed 14 lives and left 39 learners injured.

Two of the learners are still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital and are reported to be in stable condition.

At the mortuary, parents and relatives of the children sat pensively waiting for their turn to witness the autopsies of their little ones.

On Wednesday, parents of the 14 learners who lost their lives in the tragic incident had demanded that they should be represented by lawyers during the autopsies.

They complained that preparations for the postmortem examinations had been rushed and they were not involved in the process.

They later met the County Commissioner Mrs Pauline Dola who requested them to allow the autopsies to proceed as planned.

A requiem mass for the pupils will be held at the Bukhungu stadium on Friday.