Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Five dead in city accident

Police at the scene of an accident on Waiyaki Way, Westlands that left five people dead and many injured January 26, 2010. Photo/CHRIS OJOW

Police at the scene of an accident on Waiyaki Way, Westlands that left five people dead and many injured January 26, 2010. Photo/CHRIS OJOW 

By JOHN NGIRACHU

Five people died and seven others were injured in an accident involving two lorries on Waiyaki Way, Westlands in Nairobi Tuesday morning.

Eyewitnesses and a policeman who had been directing traffic on the road said the bigger lorry, a Mitsubishi Fuso, was on the Nairobi-bound side of the busy road and appeared to lose control before ramming the smaller Canter.

The Canter had been hired by PowerGen Technologies, a company installing overhead fibre optic cables on power transmission lines, and had 11 workers and their equipment in it.

The traffic policeman said he had seen the bigger truck hurtling down the highway before careering out of control and plunging past the ditch between the two lanes and onto the other side of the busy highway.

He said a 14-seater matatu and a 25-seater minibus successfully avoided colliding with the lorry head-on, but the slow and loaded Canter was not that lucky. It was reduced to a shell and none of its 11 passengers was spared.

The five dead were in the Canter while the Fuso’s driver and turn-boy escaped with injuries. The 9.30 a.m. accident resulted in a huge traffic jam on the road, which is one of the major entry and exit routes into the capital.

Passers-by and staff from the Safaricom Care Centre and the Westlands Health Centre nearby were among the first people at the scene and administered First Aid to the survivors before taking them to MP Shah Hospital.

Five people were admitted at the hospital, one in the Intensive Care Unit, while another was at the Kenyatta National Hospital and another at a hospital in Westlands.

Meanwhile, a policeman was admitted to hospital with severe injuries after a lorry driver, who was allegedly trying to avoid arrest, knocked him down.

The officer was on traffic duty on Limuru Road, Nairobi, around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

He signalled the lorry driver to a stop, but he accelerated the truck as the officer went round to inspect it, and drove off. Other motorists gave chase and police, who had been alerted, arrested the driver and his passenger.

Additional reporting by Fred Mukinda.

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