Police in Kenya on Monday said at least thirteen school children were killed in a stampede at the Kakamega Primary School.
Monday’s incident also resulted in at least 39 children sustaining serious injuries.
According to eyewitnesses, the stampede occurred at about 5pm local time when the children were rushing out of class.
During the process of rushing out some of the children fell from the third floor of the school building.
13 pupils confirmed dead after a stampede at Kakamega Primary School.
-20 treated & discharged. pic.twitter.com/CyuTR7jEMy
— Hillary Orinde?? (@OrindeHillary) February 3, 2020
David Kabena, the police chief in the town of Kakamega, told reporters that “We have lost 13 children in this stampede and we have others in the hospital with injuries.”
“We have launched an investigation to establish what exactly happened,” Kabena said signalling the difficulty in knowing the reason for the panic among the pupils.
The Education ministry also commented on the tragedy saying “Education CS George Magoha has sent a message of condolences to families, relatives & friends of 13 pupils of Kakamega prim who died in a school tragedy today. 40 others were injured in the incident. More updates to follow as Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang travels to site.”
Education CS George Magoha has sent a message of condolences to families, relatives & friends of 13 pupils of Kakamega prim who died in a school tragedy today. 40 others were injured in the incident. More updates to follow as Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang travels to site.
— EduMinKenya (@EduMinKenya) February 3, 2020
This is not the first time concerns have been raised about the safety of many schools in Kenya.
In September last year eight pupils died and 69 were injured when a classroom collapsed at a primary school in Nairobi.
Raila Odinga, Kenya’s former prime minister and current leader of the opposition, called for a swift investigation to “get to the bottom of this incident”.
My heartfelt condolences to parents that have lost loved ones in the unfortunate and regrettable tragedy at Kakamega Primary School. I wish a quick recovery to the injured children and pray that God grant strength to the affected families.
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) February 3, 2020