ONE AFTER THE OTHER

Three men drown in underground water tank in Thika

Residents say they were fetching water from the 35-foot deep tank for a construction site.

In Summary

• The second one tied a rope around himself and got into the tank but got stuck, third one followed them but the rope wasn’t strong and they all plunged into the tank

• Official says tank is constructed in a complicated way making it hard for the rescuers to get into the water. 

Locals mill around the building where three men plunged to their death in an underground water reservoir in Ngongwa, Thika, on Monday
TRAGEDY: Locals mill around the building where three men plunged to their death in an underground water reservoir in Ngongwa, Thika, on Monday
Image: JOHN KAMAU

Three men died on Monday evening after plunging into an underground water reservoir in a residential flat in Ngoingwa estate in Thika. 

The victims according, residents said, were fetching water from the 35-foot deep tank for a construction site within the estate when the accident occurred.

Roselyn Wambui, who operates a salon near the building, told journalists that the three were using a fuel pump when one of them fell unconscious due to lack of oxygen.

 

“I had a loud wail from a neighbour claiming that a man has fallen in to the tank. I rushed to the scene and found two of his colleagues trying to pull him out. The second one tied a rope around himself and got into the tank but got stuck there too. The third one followed them but the rope they were using wasn’t strong and they all plunged into the tank,” she said.

Wambui said workers from a nearby construction site tried to rescue the three in vain as the reservoir tank was too deep and had a lot of water.

“We called the Thika Fire Department and the Kiambu County Emergency Response Team who responded and started the rescue mission,” she said.

Resident James Maina said two of the men are unknown but one is a darling to many —"he fetches water and delivers it to homes within the estate using his donkey-pulled cart". 

“I can’t believe that he’s gone. I saw him a while ago with his two donkeys only to hear that he has fell into a tank. This is tragic,” Maina said.

Thika subcounty deputy police commander Daniel Kitavi confirmed the incident saying police received information on the accident at 2pm and immediately initiated a search and retrieval mission together with fire fighters and county emergency rescuers.

However, after a three-hour mission, the fire fighters only retrieved bodies of two men which were taken to General Kago Funeral Home in Thika.

 

County rescue team official Livia Njeri said the other body will only be retrieved after 72hrs once it floats, noting that the tank is constructed in a complicated way making it hard for the rescuers to get into the water.

“We have tried our best and we will still carry on with the search mission until we retrieve the body of the other victim,” Njeri said.

Edited by R.Wamochie