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Bus accident claims 16 lives along busy highway

By | August 25th 2009 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By Antony Gitonga

The country has lost 16 more people through a grisly road accident on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

The accident comes barely a month after another 28 people died when two buses collided on the Narok-Mai Mahiu road.

On Monday, scores of others sustained multiple injuries and were rushed to nearby hospitals in Gilgil after the 11pm incident.

The accident involved a Western Kenya bound bus that lost control and rammed into five stationary trailers at the popular Kikopey nyama choma spot. Transport was paralysed along the busy highway for hours before police cleared the road.

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The wreckage of the bus, which rammed into two trailers on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, killing 16 people in Gilgil, on Monday. Photo: Antony Gitonga

Twelve passengers died on the spot, while four others succumbed to injuries at St Mary’s Mission Hospital, 2km away from the scene. Some 41 injured passengers were taken to hospital with 14 in critical condition.

By Monday afternoon, 28 were still admitted at the hospital.

The bus, christened Best Star, was heading to Busia from Nairobi with 58 passengers on board. It rammed on the oil tankers parked by the roadside as the driver tried to avoid another vehicle. The front part of the bus was ripped off.

Horrifying scene

Speed governors

It was a grisly scene as personal effects, shoes, clothes, luggage drenched in blood and seats ripped off from the bus were scattered everywhere.

The accident occurred a week after Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere announced the Government would not spend resources inspecting speed governors.

The minister reportedly said the police could not be everywhere to check on whether each Public Service Vehicle had the gadget. He said the police would instead charge speeding drivers on the spot.

A witness Phillip Wambugu said the bus driver tried to swerve to avoid ramming into two stalled lorries.

He said it took almost three hours to remove some bodies trapped in the mangled wreckage of the bus.

"It is by the grace of the lord the oil tankers, which were loaded with petrol did not burst into flames on impact," he said.

Rift Valley traffic police boss Vitalis Otieno said among the dead were 12 men, three women and a child.

"We are investigating the incident before determining who to charge in court. Initial investigation shows the bus driver was speeding," he said.

road accident Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere speed governors highway PSV
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