Precious Talent Academy Tragedy: What We Know So Far

Precious Talent Academy Tragedy: What We Know So Far

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Rescue operations in progress at Precious Talent School in Dagoretti South. PHOTO: courtesy

On Monday morning, Nairobi residents woke up to the news of a building which had collapsed while housing pupils of different ages.

Moments later, it was established that a classroom at Precious Talent Academy had collapsed trapping dozens of pupils who were preparing for their morning lessons.

So far, there have been several developments to the tragedy with blame games dominating the unfoldings, with the school, the community, area leaders and the government agencies shifting the blame to the other. This is how the situation has unfolded so far.

6:50 am:  Residents of Ngando Ward dash into Precious Talent Academy following screams from distressed pupils after a classroom collapses.

The two-storey classroom hosted 200 of the 800 pupils in the school, with its lower floor housing classes 6, 7 and 8.

Injured pupils crawl to safety as first responders help in the search and rescue of those trapped in the rubble.

7:45 am: Ambulances and Emergency County staff arrive at the school to help in the rescue operations at the school, where the School’s manager, Mr Moses Wainaina Ndirangu, speaks to the members of the press.

Seven pupils are confirmed dead with Ndirangu claiming the accident was occasioned by the construction of a sewer line along the school, which he claimed had weakened the buildings in the learning institution.

Area MP John Kiarie arrives at the school shortly and gives a contradictory statement following his assessment of the scene of the incident.

Kiarie blames the quality of the build, claiming the materials used in the construction of the collapsed classes was of poor quality, and that the contractor should be squarely responsible.

64 pupils rescued from under the rubble are quickly evacuated to Kenyatta National Hospital for further medical examination and treatment.

On the ground, parents claim they had on several raised issues with the school management over the safety of the classrooms after cracks were seen on the walls of the building.

Distraught parents arrive at the school only to find that all pupils had run away due to the trauma of witnessing the injuries and death of their colleagues.

Reports emerge that the second storey of the classroom had an iron sheet wall, which exacerbated the injuries sustained from the incident. First responders say the pupils sustained deep cuts from the iron sheet walls and fractures.

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga blames the incident on the marginalization of Ngando ward in Dagoretti South Sub-county, saying the narrow roads in the area had greatly hampered emergency services.

Government Spokesman, Rtd Col Cyrus Oguna, says the government will fully cater for the medical expenses of the affected pupils, adding that Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha would provide a comprehensive report.

12 noon: At Kenyatta National Hospital, Dr Kaimori reveals that 62 of the students admitted at the facility were in stable condition, with only two (a boy and a girl) with critical conditions.

The doctor adds that the girl has soft tissue injuries, while the boy has injuries to his lung and kidneys.

12: 15: Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris blames the government for failing to provide adequate learning facilities in Ngando ward.

The area lacks a public school, and Precious Talent Top School was home to over 800 pupils.

Legislators in the area allege that ex-councillors had grabbed public land in the area, leaving it without spaces for public facilities.

12:45: Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha confirms that seven pupils had lost their lives in the school tragedy, takes responsibility for the incident and says the building of the top storey did not go through approval stage by the Ministry.

Magoha declares the school closed for four days, till next Monday when investigations are expected to be complete.

Says the Ministry’s over 1500 quality assurance officers may have not seen the school as they have to monitor over 30,000 primary schools scattered across the country.

He adds the Government will construct a public school in Ngando ward in 3-4 months.

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