Bus bursts into flames at Manyani black spot

The bus went up in flames in Taita Taveta.
Scores of passengers escaped death after their bus caught fire at Manyani trading centre near Voi on Nairobi-Mombasa highway on Tuesday evening.

Manyani area is regarded as one of the major black spots in the country.

Traffic officers said the bus belonging to Tahmeed Bus Company with 42 passengers on board was Nairobi from Mombasa.

Voi Traffic Base Police Commander Michael Murithi said the driver of the bus saw smoke emanating from the engine and parked it along the highway.

SEE ALSO :NTSA raises concern over increased road fatalities

The traffic boss said all the passengers escaped unhurt as the bus was engulfed in smoke.

Briefing The Standard on the fire Wednesday, Mr Murithi said the cause of the fire was still unknown. 

“All the passengers escaped from the burning bus,” said the Traffic officer.

The incident comes at a time when cases of vehicles especially buses and long distance trucks hit by fire outbreaks along the highway continue to rise along the busy highway.

In the recent past several vehicles had caught fire and property of unknown value destroyed.

SEE ALSO :Pedestrians in mortal danger: NTSA

Police and vehicles owners are yet to find out the mystery surrounding the frequent fires.

Meanwhile, over 140 PSV drivers, conductors and passengers have so far been arrested and prosecuted for flouting traffic rules since the crackdown started on Monday.

County Police Commander Halima Abdi said some of the suspects had no driving licenses while others without inspection stickers and reflective jackets.

Others had no helmet while others were carrying more than one passengers. In addition other suspects were driving vehicles with worn out tyres against the rules, said the county police boss.

Ms Abdi said the crackdown had been intensified and more matatu drivers would be arrested and charged.

SEE ALSO :Careless pedestrians most at risk as road crashes increase

A spot check has however revealed that some PSV vehicles are back on the roads in the county after complying with the Michuki rules.

The crackdown had devastating effects on dairy and horticultural farmers, fish vendors and revenue collection on the county government.

In some tall stations managed by the county government records showed nil revenue collection following the one-day PSV boycott.

Farmers who depended on PSV vehicles to transport their farm produce to market centres in Voi Central Business District (CBD) as far as Mombasa City were the worst hit.

Bigvai Mwaita, a fish vendor in Wundanyi town complained that he suffered as a result of the crackdown, which badly affected his business.

SEE ALSO :11 people killed in accident at Gilgil

He said his customers got a rude shock when they came to his shop only to find that he had no fish for them. “I suffered following the PSV boycott. I could not get the supplies from Mombasa as PSV vehicles were on strike,” Mr Mwaita lamented yesterday.

Ms Abdi said only PSV vehicles that had complained with the traffic rules are back to business. “The crackdown is still going on and anyone found breaking the law will be arrested and prosecuted,” she warned.

Few private vehicles took advantage of the standoff to cash in on the situation. Passengers plying Mwatate and Voi towns were forced to pay Sh300 and Sh500 respectively up from Sh100 and Sh150 respectively.

Fire OutbreakTahmeed BusManyaniBlack SpotRoad Accident