Strong winds caused a culvert to collapse and kill two standard gauge railway workers in Maai Mahiu on Monday, Kenya Railways Corporation has said.
More than five others were injured and taken to hospital. The workers were constructing a bridge.
The railways agency also said the contractor, China Road and Bridge Corporation, will cater for the funeral expenses and foot the medical bills.
Kenya Railways MD Atanas Maina termed the accident “a terrible tragedy”.
In a statement sent to newsrooms on Friday, Mr Maina said the winds “caused the enforcement bars of the culvert under construction to collapse”, noting that investigations were ongoing to find out exactly how the accident happened.
“Our goal is to fully understand what happened and how we can prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future,” he said.
A worker at the site told the Nation on Tuesday that heavy rains weakened the section being constructed and that they did not have helmets and other protective gear at the time.
But Mr Maina refuted the claim about workers not having helmets.
“Since construction of Phase 1 of the project, [Kenya Railways has] strictly ensured the contractor abides to labour laws and safety procedures in all matters,” he said.
“Standard safety procedures have been laid down and the supervising consultant for the SGR project ensures that these are followed to the letter. Adjustments are made periodically to continue improving the safety of the employee.”
Besides catering for the medical bills of the injured, CRBC has been ordered by Kenya Railways to reorganise working shifts so that those affected by the accident are given time to recuperate.
Mr Maina said he has directed contractor to offer paid leave.
“Safety of our employees as well as passengers was, is and always will be our number one priority,” Mr Maina said. “The contractor will also initiate the compensation and claim process with the insurance providers.”
Another measure that will be taken after the accident is a safety compliance check on the sub-section offices of phase 2A of the standard gauge railway construction.
“The contractor will conduct a safety compliance check at all our sub-section offices to ensure that every section is adhering to the laid down safety procedures,” said Mr Maina.
Construction of the standard gauge railway from Nairobi to Naivasha is expected to pose several engineering challenges to the contractor as it passes through the Rift Valley, a feature that has many extraordinary landscapes.