An employee of Strathmore University died after she jumped from the third floor of a building during a security drill. Esther Rusha Kidambi, 33, who worked at the catering department, died at the university dispensary.
Nairobi head of CID Nicholas Kamwende said they had opened a criminal investigation into the incident. Monday evening, the university said she died of severe head injuries. “Efforts to resuscitate her failed. The family has been informed,” a statement from the institution partly read.
More than 20 students were injured, three of them critically. The drill had been organised by the university and security agencies to test the students’ alertness and response. However, the mock operation went bad when some students, who were not aware of it, jumped from as high as fourth floor, thinking they were under attack.
Of the injured, 11 were admitted to Gertrude Hospital, 14 to Nairobi West Hospital and one with critical injuries to Aga Khan Hospital. Evans Mwendwa of Nairobi West Hospital said two students were in the intensive care unit.
Pictures captured randomly from the scene showed how panicky the students were with some hanging on higher floors ready to jump off as others were under vehicles and in a river. Langata OCPD Elijah Mwangi said the administration informed them of the drill and urged that they respond to show their level of alertness.
“We informed the relevant agencies and individuals. It is unfortunate some students were injured in the drama,” Mr Mwangi said. Students said gunshots and blasts rent the air from within the college at about midday.
The officials involved in the operation said they used rubber bullets and stun grenades to set the alarm off. This sent panic among the students and lecturers. Some students jumped from their study rooms as others ran out and took cover.