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Driver, turn boy in narrow escape as lorry falls into ocean

Tuesday July 23 2019

Lorry which plunged into the Indian Ocean

The partially lorry which plunged into the Indian Ocean on July 23, 2019. The driver said its brakes failed as he was disembarking from the ferry at Likoni. PHOTO | MOHAMED AHMED | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MOHAMED AHMED
By MOHAMED AHMED
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Operations at the busy Likoni crossing were Tuesday morning temporarily disrupted after a lorry plunged into the Indian Ocean.

The driver of the lorry, Salim Musa and his turn boy, Katana Ali, narrowly escaped death after the lorry fell into the sea on the mainland side of the channel.

The lorry was disembarking from MV Harambee when its brakes failed and it reversed into the ocean.

The mainland side ramp was slippery following heavy rains that pounded Mombasa early morning.

The vehicle, belonging to Mombasa Maize Millers, was transporting flour worth Sh600,000 to Ukunda in Kwale county.

BRAKES FAIL

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“I was driving up the ramp when the brakes failed. Luckily I had not locked the doors and that’s why we managed to come out from the vehicle safely after it got into the water,” said the visibly shaken driver.

The incident might lead to shortage of flour in Ukunda where the lorry was headed.

“We were to supply the flour to our clients but the salty water has destroyed the bundles of flour. This is a total loss,” said Mr Ali, the turn boy.

A rescue team from the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) arrived at the scene some minutes after the incident happened.

PULL OUT LORRY

Local divers arrived to help pull the vehicle out from the ocean.

KFS Communications Officer Aaron Mutiso said efforts were underway to remove the lorry from the ocean.

Police officers, KFS officials and their security guards had a hard time controlling hundreds of commuters who were crossing the Likoni channel.

Ferry passengers had crowded at the ramp as they tried get a glimpse of the vehicle as efforts were being made to pull it out.

There have been previous cases of vehicles plunging into the ocean at the Likoni channel.

More than 6,000 vehicles use the Likoni channel daily.

The channel connects Mombasa and Kwale counties.