Monday, October 14, 2019
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Mariam And Amanda Died Holding Onto Each Other At The Back Seat Of The Car

Investigators had a hard time separating the bodies.

The operation that many deemed impossible finally yielded fruit through a multi-agency collaboration.

The retrieved Toyota ISIS on Friday, October 11, 2019.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

The bodies of Mariam Kigenda and her four-year-old daughter Amanda were found in an embrace in the back seat of their car.

Investigators on Friday said they had a hard time separating the bodies.

The vehicle was in parking mode.

Efforts to locate and retrieve the car that plunged into the ocean 58 meters deep have been going on since September 29.

It was just a normal Sunday on the busy channel when Kigenda’s car slid off the MV Harambee ferry, plunging into the ocean.

The cry for help was in vain as other passengers watched hopelessly as their car sank.

For 13 days, it has been a delicate mission involving more than 80 divers drawn from both government and private firms.

The Toyota ISIS after it was retrieved on Friday, October 11, 2019.

ANDREW KASUKU

Kenya Navy officials pay their last respects at the scene where the car was retrieved at Likoni -Ferry crossing channel.

ANDREW KASUKU

The operation that many deemed impossible finally yielded fruit through a multi-agency collaboration.

The government had initially indicated the recovery mission would close sooner, but the raging waters and poor visibility made the operation difficult.

Bad weather, commuter and ship traffic and water currents in the deep ocean affected the pace of the operation, forcing the government to source for additional capacity to complement the efforts.

Head of the salvage operation from Kenya, Navy Colonel Lawrence Gituma, while speaking at the end of the mission, said the work involved was no joke.

Gituma said it was a difficult operation that needed a lot of courage.

“We take it as an opportunity to learn and reflect on the need for security while using these channels. All we can say is let all the departments in charge of safety conduct routine inspections,” he said.

Gituma said frequent inspection will play a key role in ensuring that such incidents are avoided by early detection.

He said operators of such large vessels should also be equipped with proper facilities that can allow them take care of safety of their passengers.

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