Chinese company to compensate collapsed Sigiri Bridge victims

Sigiri bridge, which collapsed on Monday morning. It was supposed to be completed by mid next month. [Ignatius Odanga, Standard]

 

nsburlihsvinsratct5952b0c83502e Chinese company to compensate collapsed Sigiri Bridge victims
Sigiri bridge, which collapsed on Monday morning. It was supposed to be completed by mid next month. [Ignatius Odanga, Standard]

The Chinese company constructing the Sh1.2 billion Sigiri bridge in Budalang’i that collapsed on Monday has promised to compensate those who were injured.

The Chinese Overseas Construction and Engineering Company (Covec) did not indicate if it was taking responsibility for the collapse of the Sigiri bridge, which had been scheduled to be completed in July.

But the manager in charge of the bridge, Jerome Azhuha, said the company would find out what caused the accident.

He said three people would be transferred elsewhere for specialised treatment.

“It will be our responsibility to compensate the injured,” he said after inspecting the bridge to establish if it could be repaired or constructed afresh.

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“From our engineering part this is unusual as all the standards and specifications were met. We are going to look into the reasons and make public our findings, “said Mr Azhuha.

Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba said the national government would pay the medical bills for the injured. At least 27 workers were hurt in the incident.

He said President Uhuru Kenyatta had assured him that the State would cover their medical expenses.

He added: “The possibility of foul play and sabotage cannot be ruled out because of bad politics. It could be either external or internal.”

He alleged that people working on the bridge could have been used by ‘external forces’ to engineer the Monday morning incident.

He urged the ministry responsible and investigative agencies to make public the cause of the accident.

“We are unbowed. The dream of Sigiri lives on and the consensus across the board is that the bridge should be completed. The investigative agencies should carry out the process quickly and tell us what caused the collapse,” the MP said.

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The county investigative officer, Esther Seroney, said investigations were underway.

The Budalang’i MP criticised the utterances by NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga about the collapsed bridge.

“Raila sounded as if he was dancing on the graves of the people who have died crossing River Nzoia. He should not play politics with development,” said the MP.

Budalang’i parliamentary aspirants Raphael Wanjala and Andrew Nakitare claimed that the engineer was under pressure from the Jubilee administration and the area MP to complete the project before the General Election. 

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