Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has urged drivers to exercise precaution when driving following a tragic accident that claimed eleven lives of St. Gabriel Primary School pupils in Mwingi town, Kitui County.
"I want to urge drivers to exercise at most care while driving and in event it gets dark I would rather you stay where they are until the following day. Don't drive when tired and sleepy, that can also accelerate accidents," Governor Ngilu said.
While speaking at the requiem mass of the eleven pupils at St Joseph's Seminary in Mwingi Town, Ngilu asked school drivers to drive during the day.
"I just want to send my heartfelt condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and wish those in hospital speedy recovery," Ngilu said.
Other leaders present at mass were Education CS Amina Mohammed, PS Belio Kipsang and former Kitui Senator David Musila.
The accident occurred last Saturday night at around 11PM when the driver of a lorry coming from Mwingi town lost control and collided with the school bus.
The bus rolled and landed on the side in Kanginga River. Some pupils were thrown out of the vehicle. At least 27 suffered injuries.
The Nguutani Secondary School bus was moving the pupils from Mombasa to Mwingi town, just three kilometer from where the tragic accident occurred.
Eight pupils died on the spot and one at the hospital. Another one died at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), where four pupils had been transferred.
"We received four pupils at 4am. One was later transferred to Nairobi Hospital. Sadly, we lost one. We now have two. One is in a critical condition but the other one is conscious and talking," said the acting KNH chief executive, Thomas Mutie.
According to Mwingi OCPD John Nyamu the school bus had 44 passengers - 40 pupils, three teachers and a matron. Six pupils had been dropped off just before the accident.
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka were among those who visited the injured in hospital.
“It is strange that the pupils survived the busy Mombasa road only to die when they are almost at home. It is a sad day,” Kalonzo said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta also sent a message of condolence to the families saying: “It is sad that we have lost those we look to, to secure the future of our great nation.”