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Scrap metal collector blows himself while handling explosive device

A 55 year-old man from Kibiru in Meru on Tuesday died after an explosive device he was handling in his house went off destroying the timber structure.

The deceased, Francis Kainga, is said to have been of unsound mind and has been collecting scrap metal from Isiolo and storing them in his house.

His mutilated body, timber and iron sheets were strewn all over the compound after the device exploded.

Ms Catherine Nyeera, mother of the deceased, said she escaped death by a whisker after iron sheets came flying towards her.

Pieces of the explosive device and another spent grenade could be seen in the house.

SCRAP METALS

Ms Doreen Kathure, said his uncle –  who worked as a mechanic before falling sick four years ago – has been coming home with scrap metals every day.

“We were resting in the compound and could hear my uncle hitting some metal in the house. We asked him what he was doing but he said there was no problem. It was about 3.30pm when we heard a loud bang followed by smoke and the roof was blown off. We ran for our lives,” Ms Kathure recounted.

She said police came later in the evening and removed the body parts from the scene.

“We suspect that he has been collecting the metals near the army barracks. I urge the police to come with bomb experts because we fear the remaining metal might be an active bomb. They should inspect this compound and the surroundings because he might have brought other explosives without our knowledge,” she said.

TREATMENT

Mr Bernard Mwenda, a relative, said they brought Mr Kainga home after he failed to respond to treatment for mental illness.

He said the deceased has been going to Isiolo town early in the morning before coming with scrap metal in the evening.

Tigania West OCPD Joshua Opiyo could not be reached for comment as he was engaged in the police recruitment exercise.