President William Ruto has mourned four people who died Friday in a stampede at Kericho Green Stadium, the venue of the Mashujaa Day celebrations.
The incident happened around 3 a.m. at Gate “C” just as authorities were preparing to open the gates to the venue of the national event.
Police in Kericho confirmed that four people all women passed away while undergoing treatment at the county Referral hospital.
10 people were injured and are hospitalized at Kericho County Referral Hospital.
Dr Ruto condoled with the families of the deceased.
“My heart goes out to the families of the victims of the tragedy at the Kericho Green Stadium ahead of the Mashujaa Day celebrations,” said the President in a statement.
“We extend our deepest condolences and pray for the quick recovery of the injured” he added.
According to police, the stampede happened when a lady who was selling tea outside the stadium accidentally spilled hot tea in the fire prompting members of the public to panic after mistaking it to be teargas thrown at them.
“It was reported by Police Officers who were on duty at Kericho Green Stadium today 20/10/2023 at 0300 hours where Mashujaa Celebration is to take place, that there was a stampede caused by a lady who was selling tea outside the stadium who accidentally spilled hot tea in the fire near gate “C” along the public road, as a result, members of public panicked and mistook it to be a teargas thrown to them”, read a police report.
Police have launched investigations into the incident. The Ministry of Interior while appealing for calm regretted the unfortunate incident.
“We appeal to the public for their cooperation and calm as we work to determine the circumstances that led to this tragic event and ensure the necessary measures are taken to prevent such incidents in the future,” said the Ministry in a statement.
It listed the injured as four civilians and six police officers who are in stable condition.
“The Ministry is deeply saddened by the stampede incident that happened earlier today when patriotic Kenyans tried to access the Kericho Green Stadium, to commemorate the 60th Mashujaa Day Celebrations. We deeply regret this unfortunate incident and grieve with the families of those who lost their lives today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected and we send our best wishes for a quick recovery to all those who were injured” it added.
Those admitted are four civilians and six police officers.
“The deceased bodies have been preserved in the facility’s morgue pending identification and postmortem examinations” the statement added.