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Relatives in shock, mourn accident victims

Updated Tuesday, August 23rd 2011 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Ally Jamah

Residents of Kawethei village in Kangundo, Machakos County were still paralysed by the hard blow they received on Saturday night, after 23 members of the village, including six from one family, were killed in a road accident.

By Monday, the atmosphere in the sun-baked village was still charged with gloom, shock and mourning as families and neighbours came to terms with the incident that also left many residents fighting for their lives in hospital

Miriam Mutua is assisted by relatives as she mourns her mother, Rose Ndinda

Homes of several families were scenes of mourning as neigbours and leaders converged to console and help them to handle the tragedy.

âWe have never seen a thing like this before. We have just lost so many people at once that we donât know what to do. We are still in shock. But we pray for strength from God,â said Nicodemus Wambua, a resident.

Huge crowds of villagers assembled in the local Catholic Church to mourn and pray for the deceased and injured in a highly emotional service that left several people breaking down into tears.

The normally bustling Kawethei shopping centre appeared a pale shadow of itself as most shops were closed.

âNormally, this place would be full of people selling and buying. But today everyone is mourning and very few people feel like working. We all have to be with the families that have suffered the big loss. The shock was just too big,â said Alex Ndaa, a vegetable seller.

Some of the closed shops included those of victims who perished during the accident including Grace Kavindu, a vegetable seller who left behind eight children.

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