Atleast six dead as matatu plunges into dam

Residents of Githurai in Nairobi help retrieve bodies on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, after a matatu plunged into a dam in the area on Monday night, killing an unconfirmed number of passengers on board. The residents accused police of having poor disaster response strategy to save lives. [David Njaaga, Standard]

At least six bodies have been retrieved from a Nairobi dam after a matatu plunged into it on Monday night.

The Nairobi-bound matatu was carrying passengers from Thika when the tragedy occurred around Githurai at about 8pm.

Angry residents barricaded the Thika Superhighway to protest against delayed recovery operation by authorities.

The police had to lob teargas canisters to disperse rowdy youths who were also taking advantage of the situation to rob and stone motorists.

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The area was a no-go zone for more than three hours as security officers engaged the youths in running battles.

Witnesses claimed the police who arrived at the scene on Monday night only pulled out the wreckage of the vehicle and seven victims, of which four were reportedly dead.

It is still not clear how many people were inside the vehicle.

Yesterday two bodies were retrieved by volunteers.  

According to witnesses, the matatu driver lost control and plunged into the dam.

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How the matatu veered off the road without damaging the guardrails is also still a puzzle.

Gladys Chebet, a resident of Githurai 45 , said the matatu could also have been carrying excess passengers at the time of the incident.

She said that she was able to see four people who appeared to be dead being pulled out of the vehicle while three were alive.

She blamed the Government for failing to respond to the situation as it had sent no rescue team by yesterday.

The demonstrators, who included matatu operators, barricaded both sides of the road by erecting huge stones and lighting bonfires demanding speedy rescue operation.

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The demonstrators also demanded fencing of the dam near Clay Works factory on Thika Superhighway since it had turned into a death trap.

Nairobi damThika SuperhighwayGithuraiClay Works factoryGithurai dammatatu