Kakamega Primary School head teacher Dickson Wanyangu (second left) and staff at the institution on February 6. Photo/NMG

Six of the 14 pupils who passed away in a stampede at Kakamega Primary School on Monday died of suffocation.

This was confirmed by Western Region Government Pathologist Dickson Mchana who said they conducted limited post-mortem tests since the deaths were not contestable.

Dr Mchana noted that they are still conducting post mortem on the remaining children. He said one of the pupils, Simeon Waweru, sustained a fracture on the left shoulder.

“We are also racing against time to finalise the post-mortems and prepare the bodies for collection by the families for a requiem mass to be held at Bukhungu Stadium Kakamega (on Friday),” said Dr Mchana.

On Wednesday, parents of the deceased had demanded to have a lawyer present during the postmortem examinations. They complained that the tests had been rushed.

They later met the County Commissioner Ms Pauline Dola who requested them to allow the exercise to proceed as planned.

“We just don’t want to have the postmortem examinations conducted as a formality, we want to establish what caused the death of our children,” said Mr Obadiah Aluvisia who lost his son Fidel Kimbutie.

“We are surprised that there are plans by the [Kakamega County General and Referral] hospital to conduct postmortem examinations without seeking our consent. If they want to do them as a formality, then we are requesting to be allowed to proceed to bury our children without the examinations,” he added.

Meanwhile, police have since recorded statements from teachers, pupils and other witnesses to establish what caused the fatal stampede.

39 students were injured, two of whom are still in the Intensive Care Unit at the Kakamega County General and Referral Hospital. Four others had made a recovery and were due for discharge as of Thursday.