Kericho bus crash: Death toll reaches 55 as hospital appeals for blood

Residents gather at the scene of the accident. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
The Kericho County referral hospital is appealing for blood to support the treatment of Kericho bus crash survivors as the death toll rises to 55. 

The 55 confirmed dead are 9 children, 15 women, 31 men. 16 people survived include one child, six women and nine men.  

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony said 16 accident survivors admitted at the health facility require extensive treatment including surgeries and will require blood transfusion.

“So far three of the victims have already undergone operations. We are concerned that though we have some blood reserve, it might not be enough to cater for all patients’ blood transfusion needs,” he said.

Dr David Ekuwam said they had set up a blood donation centre for the purpose.

Governor Chepkwony in a statement, also said the county government will meet the full cost of treatment for the accident survivors. “This accident has shocked all of us and the county government will like to support the survivors the burden of medical bills at the Kericho County hospitals,” said Chepkwony.

He also said they are going to waive the mortuary fees for the deceased.

A survivor of the accident is wheeled into an ambulance for referral from Fort Ternan hospital in Kericho county on October 10, 2018.
Dr Betty Langat, the Kericho County Director of Health services confirmed the Kericho county hospital mortuary has received 31 bodies of men, 15 women and nine children.

Red Cross tracing and information centre

The Kenya Red Cross and the Kericho County Government have set up an information and tracing centre at the Kericho County Referral hospital to help families looking for friends and relatives believed to have been on the bus. Kenyans can call Kenya Red Cross on 0715 820 219 or 0735 680 356. 

The hospital has also set up a counselling desk with professional counsellors to help relatives come to terms with the loss of their loved ones.  

Families have flocked Kericho Referral hospital to identify the remains of their loved ones. According to the Office of the County Governor of Kericho, as at 3 pm Wednesday, only four bodies had been positively identified by their relatives. 

Following the accident, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has revealed that the bus operated by Western Cross Roads SACCO had no license to operate at night.

A male survivor of the Kakamega-bound bus has blamed the Home Boyz bus crew for the accident that happened on the morning of Wednesday 10th October.

The man says the bus was overloaded and the crew disregarded traffic rules. “Some people were standing. We were about 70 people. And we could not complain because the crew was very arrogant. I could not have talked because they could have beat us up,” he said.

He says before they reached Naivasha, the mood in the bus was jovial as passengers talked and laughed. However, after they passed Naivasha, the driver started speeding.

“The bus was swerving from side to side. This is when we realized that we were in danger,” he added.

He says the 67-seater Isuzu bus looked well serviced and its brakes sounded functional.

Uhuru Kenyatta statement

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked drivers to exercise caution on roads. "As authorities investigate the cause of the accident with a view of taking action, I would like to remind drivers to always exercise caution to avoid such catastrophic incident (sic)", he said on his Twitter handle. 

The National Police Service has confirmed that the 5:45 am accident happened along the Londiani-Muhoroni at Tunnel, Fort Ternan, lost control and rolled. The bus, an Isuzu belonging to Wester Cross Express was travelling from Nairobi to Western Kenya.

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