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Seven KCPE candidates drown during school trip

Seven pupils from St Martin Primary School in Kahuro, Murang’a, drowned Wednesday while swimming at Pavilion beach in Diani, Kwale County.

Officials from the Kenya Red Cross and divers retrieved the seven bodies Wednesday evening.

The pupils drowned when they went swimming in the sea close to the Bidi Badu Beach Bar at the Diani seafront.

The pupils, aged between 13 and 15, were on a tour of the Coast as awaited to sit their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination later in November.

Kwale County Commissioner Evans Achoki said the last three bodies were retrieved at around 10pm.

They were taken to Msambweni Hospital mortuary.

Kenya Red Cross called off search at 11pm.

IDENTIFICATION

Mr Achoki said identification of the bodies would be conducted Thursday morning.

Families of the dead pupils are expected to visit the mortuary to help the police with the identification.

Sources at the scene told the Nation that the 56 pupils had gone to the beachfront to swim when the tragedy happened.

“Normally, there are trained divers who guide people swimming in sea, but the school’s teacher said they had their own person who would guide the pupils,” the sources said.

The pupils, according to the sources, had arrived at 1pm before changing into their swimming costumes and hitting the waters as the windy weather and receding tides overwhelmed some of the swimmers.

“It was at this juncture that some of the seven victims found the going tough and called for assistance, which was too late as the angry sea waves swallowed them,” the sources added.

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya was among those at the seafront monitoring the rescue operation.

The governor lamented that it took divers more than six hours to retrieve the bodies due to poor coordination.