A father of eight discovered his family has slept on a ‘live 60mm propellant’ for the last 41 years.
Peter Kamau constructed the three bedroom wooden house in Keroe village in Kikuyu Constituency in 1974, after he inherited the land from his grandfather.
And only a few days ago Kamau decided to demolish the old house and build a stone house that was more permanent and bigger, a four-bedroom house.
He called some young men from the village and masons who quickly demolished the wooden house and started working on the foundation of the new house.
Kibe Thairu, the mason in charge, said, “This was just another project like many others I have done in my career, and I directed some of the young men to dig trenches to lay the house’s foundation.”
One of them, John Karanja while digging a trench came across a strange metal object as he dug on the side allocated to him, and he thought nothing much of the metal and just assumed it was a metal pipe.
“I used a crowbar to try to remove the ‘metal’ but it did not budge. I then went for a hoe to try to dig around the metal and remove it, and when I was doing that Kibe came by,” said Karanja.
Kibe noticed the metal seemed like bomb and alerted everyone, telling them to stop work as he notified the home owner and informed the chief and area police.
The area police arrived led by the Officer in Charge of Police Division (OCPD) Mutune Maweo, who after assessing the situation called for bomb experts to come to the scene.
The bomb experts identified the ammunition as a ‘live 60mm propellant’, the kind used during the second world war in the 1940s.
The bomb experts then carried the propellant a safe distance from the crowd of villagers who had gathered to witness the incident, and detonated the device.
The villagers were shaken and were only seen running away, hurdling together and using their hands to close their ears from the loud noise from the detonation.
One of the daughter’s of the home where the propellant was found, Rose Wangari, said that the exact place where the bomb was found was their bedroom.
“I remember sleeping in that room for many years as a girl. It is difficult for me knowing that I and my siblings, and entire family, since the propellant would have destroyed all of us were sleeping on an equivalent of a bomb,” said Wangari.
OCPD Mutune said received a written report from the bomb experts detailing that the ammunition was a live and dangerous 60mm propellant, probably buried there in the 1940s during the second world war.
The bomb experts also in their report said the propellant would have exploded if disturbed, for instance applying force on it.
“I ask the locals when they come across such peculiar objects not to handle them or play with them, but alert the police immediately”, said OCPD Mutune.
Villagers said it was common for one to dig out ammunitions in the area.
By ANNE KANINA-HTBluff Associates. An EMG Consortium. #HTBluff/Diaspora Messenger contributor
Smoke billows as the propellant was detonated by bomb experts
The live 60mm propellant before it was detonated
People step closer to see the hole left after the propellant was detonated by bomb experts