Panic as fishermen haul explosives from Lake Victoria
Three fishermen in Homa Bay County were on Thursday gripped by panic after their nets caught metallic objects suspected to be explosives in Lake Victoria.
The three were fishing silver cyprinid (locally known as omena) but got a rude shock on discovering their nets had caught six metallic objects.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the fishermen had set off in their motor-powered boat for the fishing expedition on Thursday and ended up hauling the explosives which had been lying under water.
Two fishermen jumped from their vessels in panic and swam in the hippo infested waters, fearing that the explosives could detonate and harm them.
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But their colleague managed to safely steer the boat to the shore of the lake and alert officials of the beach management unit who called the police.
Detectives from Mbita Sub County contacted their counterparts from the Bomb Disposal and Hazardous Materials to inspect the explosive and detonate them safely.
The objects which were later identified as 80mm bombs have been kept at Mbita Police Station. The incident caused panic on Ngodhe Island as residents feared that the explosives would go off and injure them.
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The devices are believed to have been dumped in the lake by military personnel before independence.
Mbita DCI officer Mr Abed Kavoo warned fishermen not to tamper with strange objects caught in their nets since they could be dangerous.
“Some fishermen are tempted to handle the objects unaware of the danger they are exposing themselves to. Fishermen should be very careful and avoid tampering with such devices,” said Mr Kavoo.
However, this not the first time fishermen have hauled explosives from the lake.