Ten killed as a 14-seater matatu is swept by floods in Gatundu, Kiambu County

Ten people were Sunday morning killed when a matatu they were travelling was swept away by raging water in Nyakibai, Gatundu North, Kiambu County.

The ten, who are believed to be from the same family, drowned while seven survivors were taken to the local health centre, treated and discharged.

This gave an indication the van had 17 passengers at the time of the accident.

Traffic commandant Jecinta Kinyua said the victims were from a dowry ceremony in Nyahururu and were headed for Kandara in Murang’a County when the accident happened.

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Ms Kinyua say the accident happened at about 1 a.m.  Among the survivors was a ten-year-old boy, she said.

“We suspect the driver was tired at the time of the accident because he had driven for long and it was heavily raining,” said Ms Kinyua who had visited the scene.

The driver is said to have lost control of the matatu as it crossed Nyakibai Stream near Matara Shopping Centre before it was swept away. The bodies have been taken to the Thika Hospital.

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Kiambu County police commander James Mugera said the bodies were found floating on the river bed of Nyakibai long after the accident had happened.

“They drowned and the bodies do not have physical injuries. We urge for vigilance from drivers at this time of heavy rains,” said Mugera.

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The incident is the latest in a series that have happened since the heavy rains started more than a month ago. Just yeaterday, five people were killed in Sori, Migori County due to floods, and search and rescue operations ahave been suspended for three days the missing 14 persons by Migori County Deputy Commissioner James Mabeya in the hope that the missing bodies will come afloat soon.

Authorities say up to 70 people have died in the last month alone in rain related incidents. Dozens others were injured while property of unknown value has been destroyed.

There have been campaigns that have been running in the last month on the rains urging for vigilance from residents.

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