Kenya: Thirteen children killed in primary school stampede

NAIROBI, At least 13 children died and dozens of

others were injured in a stampede as they left their primary school in Kenya, local police said, with investigators still trying to ascertain

the cause of the tragedy.

The police have launched an inquiry into what caused the crowd of students to panic, leading to the crush at around 5 pm Monday at the school in the western town of Kakamega.

In the aftermath of the stampede, the police cordoned off the school and

took statements from the teaching staff.

Images broadcast by local media showed parents gathered in front of the

emergency ward of a hospital in the town, waiting for news of their children.

We lost 13 children in this stampede and others are in hospital due to

injuries, Kakamega’s police chief David Kabena told reporters at the scene.

We have launched an investigation to establish what exactly happened, he added.

One of the children’s mothers blamed the teachers.

Those who survived said they were running because there were teachers who were beating them, and that is why they were escaping and fell on each other, the mother said in an interview with local media.

She said the children were mostly in grade five, aged between 10 and 12.

Corporal punishment is banned in Kenya.

The Kakamega Primary School did not immediately comment on the incident.

We are devastated by the tragedy that has hit Kakamega Primary School

this (Monday) evening, said Kenya’s Vice President William Ruto in a post on Twitter.

Our prayers, love and thoughts to the families and relatives of the

victims of the misfortune.

Kenya Red Cross said on Twitter that it was setting up psychological

support services, as well as a tracing desk to help relatives locate

potentially affected students.

The Red Cross said 39 students had been admitted to a local hospital.

St John’s Ambulance meanwhile tweeted that at least 14 students had been

killed and more than 50 injured, including two who were in an intensive care unit. Some 37 had been treated and discharged from hospital.

The tragedy comes just two days after 20 people were killed in a stampede

at an open-air evangelical Christian church service over the border in

Tanzania.

In 2016, nine students were killed by a fire at a girls’ high school in

the Kibera neighbourhood of Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

Source: NAM News Network