DEATH TOLL 15

One more Kakamega stampede victim dies of chest problems

Salma and another pupil were admitted in the ICU after the deadly stampede that claimed 14 lives at Kakamega primary school on Monday last week

In Summary
  • Zaituni said her child developed breathing problems after playing with friends and was rushed to the Kakamega County Referral Hospital while unconscious on Monday evening.
  • Mchana last Thursday performed autopsies on 14 bodies of the victims of the stampede and revealed they had all suffocated.
Zaituni Bakari, mother of Standard 5 pupil Samla Olesso, a victim of the Kakamega Primary School stampede, who died on Monday after discharge from hospital.
STAMPEDE: Zaituni Bakari, mother of Standard 5 pupil Samla Olesso, a victim of the Kakamega Primary School stampede, who died on Monday after discharge from hospital.
Image: HILTON OTENYO

One more Kakamega Primary School stampede victim died on Monday after she was discharged from the ICU.

Salma Olesso collapsed while playing with friends on Monday afternoon.

The death brings to 15 the number of pupils who died after the February 3 deadly stampede at the school on February 3.

They crowded down a metre-wide staircase, some tripped and others ran over them.

Salma, a Standard 5 pupil, was transferred from the ICU on Wednesday last week and moved to Ward 5A for observation before being discharged on Monday afternoon.

She and another pupil were admitted to the ICU after the stampede.

"The child was excited and wanted to play with friends who were happy she had been discharged. She does not take milk and asked for black tea which I prepared for her but I did not know she had come to bid me goodbye," her grief-stricken mother Zaituni Bakari said.

Zaituni said her child developed breathing problems after playing with friends and fell unconscious. She was rushed to Kakamega County Referral Hospital at around 6.30pm but was pronounced dead at around 8pm.

Kakamega county pathologist Dr Dickson Mchana said Salma died of chest complications.

"Like the rest who died in the stampede, Salma suffered lung injuries that were not predictable. When people suffer lung damage they have to go through rehabilitation and the playing could have exacerbated the situation but you cannot stop children from playing," Mchana said.

Last Thursday he performed autopsies on 14 bodies of the victims of the stampede and said all had suffocated.

Yesterday, Zaituni said that the doctors at the hospital had tried their est to save Salma.

An emotional joint funeral service was held at Bukhungu Stadium on Saturday.  Most of the bodies were buried on Saturday and Monday.

The school, which was closed for a week following the tragedy, was reopened on Monday. 

An interdenominational service was conducted at the school on Monday to offer prayers for pupils, teachers and parents.

However, police have not released any information concerning an investigation into the cause of the stampede at the school.

Learning resumed at the school on Monday even as engineers said the three-storey building did not meet safety standards and needed more staircases and other modifications.

(Edited by V. Graham)