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Quarry Owner to Take Responsibility over Catastrophe

The owner of a quarry near the border of Tharaka –Nithi and Meru counties that caved in killing three people and a fourth one was critically injured will face prosecution for illegal operation.
Imenti South Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Mugo Gichiri said Tuesday that work on the quarry which is on a road reserve had been banned by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the investor has been operating illegally.
“The quarry was banned by NEMA and the investor Chad Limited has been operating illegally and will take full responsibility for the lost lives because he failed to adhere to directives given by the government agency,” Gichiri said.
An eye witness Charles Kithuka said the four were cutting stones at the quarry when a section of the rock from about 10 metres high fell on them at around 10 am killing the trio on the spot.
Kithuka, who was standing some metres away said the injured man was rushed to a nearby hospital while three other workers at the same quarry escaped unhurt.
“It was around 10am when a rock fell from the upper part of the quarry and completely buried the four,” Kithuka said.
Red Cross volunteers, police and the county rescue team removed the bodies using an excavator.
DCC’s sentiments were echoed by area OCPD John Cheruiyot who said the owner of the quarry will be prosecuted as soon as investigations into the incident are complete.
The DCC cautioned area residents against cutting stones on banned zones especially during this rainy season when the soil is soaked with water and is likely to cause landslides.
By David Mutwiri

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