alexa One dead, three missing after overloaded lorry plunges into River Nzoia - Daily Nation

One dead, three missing after overloaded lorry plunges into River Nzoia

Tuesday January 31 2017

Residents look on as divers search for the

Residents look on as divers search for the bodies of four people who drowned after a lorry plunged into River Nzoia on Sunday night. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

BENSON AMADALA
By BENSON AMADALA
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The search has resumed for four bodies swept away by water after a tanker ferrying molasses plunged into the River Nzoia when a bridge collapsed.

The search by local divers and police was called off on Monday due to heavy rains in parts of western Kenya.

Police on Monday recovered one body from the mangled wreck of the tanker.

The rickety bridge on the Lurambi-Nambacha-Musikoma road caved under the weight of the truck, which police said was carrying close to 30 tonnes of molasses on Sunday night.

The bridge at Sikubale can only handle vehicles under 10 tonnes.

The ill-fated lorry, from one of the sugar millers in Kakamega County, was heading to Jinja, Uganda. 

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Four people, two men and two women, are said to have been in the tanker when it left Nabakholo market.

Kakamega County police chief Tito Kilonzi said that by Tuesday morning the body of the driver had been retrieved from the wreckage.

The bodies of the other three occupants are still missing and feared to have been swept downstream.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya visited the scene of the accident in Navakholo Sub-County on Monday.

He promised to help bring in equipment to retrieve the truck and intensify the search for the missing bodies.

Normal activities at the Kakamega-Bungoma border have been disrupted after the collapse of the bridge, which serves as the only link for communities in the two counties.

Lawrence Wanyonyi, who lost his son in the accident, said the young man was offered Sh1,000 by the driver to show them the direction on the rough and bumpy road.

“My son was jobless and the offer of Sh1,000 from the driver was too tempting to resist,” said Mr Wanyonyi.

Navakholo police chief Paul Kuria said the officers and the divers will continue with the search for the bodies.

Mr Kuria said heavy equipment was needed to pull the wreckage from the river.

“We have contacted the West Kenya and Butali Sugar companies to bring in their cranes to help lift the vehicle from the river,” said Mr Kuria.

He said the driver could have detoured to the Navakholo-Bukembe road to avoid having the vehicle’s load capacity checked at the Webuye weighbridge.

Lugari MP Ayub Savula called for help from the military to remove the lorry from the river.