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Body of trapped Siaya miner Tom Okwatch retrieved after 7 months

The family had refused to bury a banana stump with hopes of finding the body of their son

Tom Okwach, a minor in Bondo is still trapped in rubble, 22 days after collapse

The body of Tom Okwatch, a miner who was trapped in Abimbo mining site last December, has been recovered after seven months of searching.

Okwatch was among eight miners who were covered by debris about 20 feet from the entrance of the shaft they were mining after it caved in on December 8. Six of the miners were rescued alive while Okwatch and another did not make it.

It is believed the young man was alive for several days as rescuers tried to locate him.

His family had refused to bury a banana stump in accordance with the Luo culture in the hopes that they would retrieve their kin's remains for a befitting send-off.


“We can’t bury a banana stump and even me as the sister can’t accept we burial goes because if we buried the banana stump today and tomorrow he is found would we conduct another burial,” Okwatch’s sister said just days before his body was found.

Okwatch's mother had camped at the mine for days.

“The miners say they are digging for gold with the hope they will come across the body of their colleague, I am just keeping my hopes high,” Okwatch’s mother Joyce Ocholla stated.

Earlier, government intervention in the search for the body was pulled out arguing that the machines conducting the search had been reassigned. The rescuers also said the soil was loose therefore endangering their own lives.


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