Death toll in Mwingi bus accident rises to 34
Posted Wednesday, February 27 2013 at 08:15
- Eleven people died on the spot after the bus headed to Mandera crashed near Mwingi town in Kitui County late Tuesday.
Thirty four people died and 50 others were seriously injured when a bus they were travelling in crashed near Mwingi town on the Thika-Garissa highway.
The accident occurred at 3.15am after the driver of the Mandera bound bus lost control and rolled several times at a sloppy stretch as it approached Mwingi town, killing 11 passengers on the spot.
Twenty one passengers were pulled out of the wreckage by police and rescuers.
Two others succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment.
Survivors who spoke to the Nation said that the bus christened Modern Desert Cruiser was overloaded with 25 extra passengers, who were heading home to vote in the next week’s General Election.
According to Ahmed Hassan, one of the passengers who escaped with slight injuries, the bus whose carrying capacity is 60 passengers, left Nairobi at 1.00am heading to Mandera with more than 80 passengers on board.
Mr Hassan said the bus driver who escaped with injuries after the accident, lost control while negotiating a sharp corner just a few metres past Mbondoni market.
Mwingi OCPD Kipkemboi Birir who led the rescue operation said among the dead were 28 men, three women and a young girl.
“It is one of the worst accidents along Mwingi- Garissa road in recent times. It is obvious that the bus was overloaded with more than 80 passengers on board,” Mr Birir said.
The OCPD said the circumstances of the accident were not clear but suspected that the driver fell asleep on the sloppy section of the road before losing control of the bus.
"The bus driver sustained slight injuries but fled from the scene. We are looking for him to shed more light on the circumstances that led to this grisly accident,” Mr Birir said.
Defence assistant minister David Musila cut short his senatorial campaigns and rushed to the scene to help with rescue efforts and console with the bereaved families.
"It is disheartening to lose such a big number of people in a road accident. The traffic police should strictly enhance road rules to curb the road carnage,” Musila said.
Last year, a bus rolled at Mutwangombe area on the Mwingi-Garissa road killing 13 people on the spot.
The grisly accident comes at a time when the police and the Transport Licensing Board are carrying out a nationwide crackdown on un-roadworthy vehicles.