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Five killed after silo collapses in Industrial Area


At least five people were killed when a wheat silo collapsed in Nairobi’s Industrial Area on Wednesday evening.

By Thursday evening, only two bodies had been retrieved as police ruled out the possibility of rescuing alive three other people trapped under tonnes of wheat.

Nairobi County police boss Japheth Koome said one of the nine silos at Golden Harvest Mills collapsed, trapping at least seven workers.

The rescuers were still trying to stabilise the structure to retrieve the bodies under the mounds of wheat.

Mr Koome, however, said three workers were rescued and taken to hospital.

Investigations have been launched following reports that the silo’s sensor was damaged. This is suspected to have resulted in the silo being loaded beyond its capacity.

The silos are about 80 feet tall, with a capacity of 3,000 tonnes each.

One of the dead was identified as Mr Maurice Otieno Odanga, who was a supervisor at the site. Mr Odanga is said to have been doing routine maintenance when the silo collapsed.

His father-in-law, Mr Andricus Odundo, told the Nation the family was informed of Odanga’s death on Wednesday night but the body was only removed at around 11am on Thursday.

 

Police are also investigating claims that a worker who is not conversant with the job was put in charge of the operations of the silo because the supervisor was away on leave.

Company CEO Aneez Lalji, however, denied the allegations, saying no supervisor was on leave.

Mr Lalji said the construction of the silos was completed six months ago. He said the firm had asked the suppliers from London to send structural engineers to help with the investigations.

“We still do not know what happened. At the time of the incident, there were about 25 workers at the scene,” he said.