Forty-one students from Lukenya University, Mtito-Andei campus, escaped after the matatu they were travelling in was swept by floods at River Kyamela on the Emali-Itangini road, Makueni county.
The matatu belongs to Wembe Company.
It was headed from Mtito-Andei to Nairobi but it changed route on arriving at Emali town due to a snarl-up on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway.
The traffic jam was caused by a container that closed the highway at Malili following an accident caused by the heavy downpour that reduced visibility.
In a second accident that worsened the state, a Scania bus from Crown Company that was headed to Nairobi was involved in an accident at Sultan Hamud- several people were injured.
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Makueni police boss Joseph Naipeiyan confirmed the incident, saying the matatu had 46 passengers.
“The driver changed route due to the two accidents and was to join the highway at Machakos junction. When they arrived at that river passengers pleaded with the driver not to dare the raging waters but he didn’t listen,” said Naipeiyan.
It took efforts of locals to assist the passengers as the vehicle submerged.
The police commander said passengers lost their personal effects and some were injured but there were no casualties.
Meanwhile, one person is still stranded in River Mbumbuni, Waani village, in Mbooni East sub-county.
The man was swept away by floodwaters while crossing the river.
Police and residents have been using ropes to try and save him, but by the time this story was filed, they had not succeeded in saving the man.