A 40-year old woman died, and another is recuperating in hospital, after a boulder fell on them as they swept debris at Kaguru quarry in Imenti South, Meru County Saturday.
Ms Doris Gatakaa was hit by a huge rock before she slipped and drowned in a stagnant pool of water inside the quarry at around 9am.
Her colleague Ms Nancy Mukiri, 36, suffered injuries on her waist and is admitted at the Consolata Hospital, Nkubu. Medics, however, said she was in stable condition.
Another man, who was pumping out water in the quarry, escaped unhurt.
According to Mr Geoffrey Kimathi, a quarry worker, the two had arrived earlier that their colleagues to sweep debris before excavation activities could start.
As the workers approached a loose boulder, Ms Gatakaa slipped and fell in a pool of stagnant water and was buried by the debris.
Mr Kimathi said the deceased would have been saved but the stagnant water frustrated rescue operation.
“We had to pump out the water to locate her. It is the first time a death has occurred yet despite experiencing mud flows frequently,” he said.
Area police boss Joseph Cheruiyot said they had requested National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) to assess the safety of the quarry.
“We had asked Nema to inspect the quarry and also recommended that the water be pumped out,” he said.
A sombre mood engulfed the quarry with the workers downing their tools.
Ms Gatwiri Kirimi and her colleague Ms Josphine Naitore, who said they feared for their safety while at work, asked the relevant authorities to drain water from the quarry that has 10 female workers.
“This is where we eke a living. We have children who depend on us, we have stopped working today but we must resume tomorrow,” she said.