State suspends construction of collapsed Sigiri bridge, orders probe

An aerial view of the Sigiri bridge that collapsed. photo/LAMECK BARAZA
An aerial view of the Sigiri bridge that collapsed. photo/LAMECK BARAZA

The government has suspended the construction of Budalangi's Sigiri bridge which collapsed on Monday injuring more than 10 workers.

Infrastructure PS John Mosonik said the suspension stands until an integrity report on the project is ready.

In a statement,

Mosonik said an investigative arm of the government will look into the matter to rule out any possible foul play.

"A team of investigators from the Kenya Urban Roads Authority have been dispatched to establish the cause the collapse."

"The team comprised of top engineers will investigate the cause of the failure of the structure and will release more information as it becomes available," he said.

Mosonik said Kerra is also planning a detailed structural investigation to establish the cause of the failure.

The official said the Sh 1.2 billion bridge commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta was still under construction at the time it tumbled.

The bridge, linking Bunyala South and North, comprises three spans of 25 metres at both ends and a 50 metres middle span.

He said the construction of the 25 metres end spans is complete while the casting of the deck slab was being worked on at the weekend.

The bridge is a governments project

being executed by China Overseas Engineering Co. (COVEC).

Over 28 people, mostly site workers, were rushed to various hospitals in the county following the incident.

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Meanwhile, opposition leader Raila Odinga blasted

president Uhuru Kenyatta for commissioning 'shoddy work'.

Uhuru, accompanied by DP William Ruto, was in Budalang'i on June 14 where he inspected ongoing works at the site.

The ODM leader said the project was being hurried for political mileage ahead of the August 8 polls.

Raila said:

"Jubilee is to blame for the unprofessional job yet a lot of money is going into people's pocket."

"We are lucky that the bridge collapsed before it was used. Otherwise, we would have lost a lot of lives," he said.

Raila, citing numerous buildings that have collapsed since 2013, said construction standards have failed under the Jubilee administration.

He said the government does not care about work specifications.

"But as you can see under Jubilee, everything is compromised," the NASA flag bearer said during campaigns in Siaya.

"This is a good sign of how they will tumble. When the monkey's day to die draws nigh, all trees become slippery."