Thursday, April 17, 2014

11 perish in Nakuru after lorry collides with a matatu

A wreckage of a North Rift Shuttle matatu (R) that was involved in an head-on collision with a truck (L) ferrying metal rods at Quarry Area in Kamara on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway. 11 occupants of the matatu headed to Nairobi perished with only one surviving. The driver and a turn boy of the truck fled the scene after the accident leaving behind a male passenger. PHOTO|SULEIMAN MBATIAH.
A wreckage of a North Rift Shuttle matatu (R) that was involved in an head-on collision with a truck (L) ferrying metal rods at Quarry Area in Kamara on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway. 11 occupants of the matatu headed to Nairobi perished with only one surviving. The driver and a turn boy of the truck fled the scene after the accident leaving behind a male passenger. PHOTO|SULEIMAN MBATIAH.
Shocked residents at the scene of the accident. PHOTO/SULEIMAN MBATIAH
The wreckage of the North Rift Shuttle matatu that was crashed by a truck. PHOTO/SULEIMAN MBATIAH.
A shocked resident at the scene of the accident. PHOTO/SULEIMAN MBATIAH
The wreckage of the truck that crashed into the North Rift Shuttle matatu killing 11 people. Only one person survived. PHOTO/SULEIMAN MBATIAH.
The North Rift Shuttle bus after colliding with a trailer at Quarry in Kamara on Nakuru-Eldoret highway. 11 people died in the crash. Photo | Suleiman Mbatiah
The North Rift Shuttle bus after colliding with a trailer at Quarry in Kamara on Nakuru-Eldoret highway. 11 people died in the crash. Photo | Suleiman Mbatiah
Wreckage of the matatu involved in the Nakuru road crash that killed 11 people Thursday morning. Photo | Suleiman Mbatia
Wreckage of the matatu involved in the Nakuru road crash that killed 11 people Thursday morning. Photo | Suleiman Mbatia
By JAMES KARIUKI
More by this Author

Eleven people perished on the spot Thursday morning when a Nairobi bound matatu collided head-on with a truck at Quarry area along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

The 11 were in the matatu when it was hit and dragged for about 40-metres and squeezed into a roadside embankment.

Koibatek Sub-County Commissioner, Samson Irungu said they rushed to the scene but were shocked to find 11 occupants in the matatu had perished and were trapped inside the vehicle.

However one person, Joseph Chigu Otieno, survived the accident.

“The lorry was loaded with twisted iron rods that made its momentum dangerous. When it lost control and swerved to the right it hit the matatu and pushed it forty metres off the road before coming to a halt when the two vehicles hit a side embankment.

"All the victims had multiple fractures and rescuers had a difficult time pulling the two vehicles apart in the hope of finding a survivor,” Mr Irungu said.

Koibatek Divisional Police Commander Bernard Kibe said a manhunt had been launched for the lorry driver and the turn boy who vanished from the scene immediately after the accident.

A third person who was in the lorry’s cabin said he heard a loud bang and the cabin tore off from the main body before it came to a halt thirty metres away.

The driver and the conductor vanished from the scene leaving a shocked Mr Okube, a Malaba-based second hand clothes dealer at the scene.

“I was asleep when I heard the driver yell ‘Mungu wangu’ (My Lord) and this was followed by a loud bang.

When I regained consciousness, blood was oozing from my forehead and before me was a mangled wreck of a matatu with its occupants dead,” he said.

Mr Okube said he had boarded the trailer at 9pm at Kangemi area along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway and paid Sh1,000 as fare from Nairobi to Malaba for him and his goods - two bundles of new jackets.