UPDATE: Police have confirmed that the number of people who have died in the bus accident that happened in Kericho on the morning Wednesday 10th October has now reached 55.
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 that has killed more than 50 passengers in an accident at Tunnel area along Londiani-Muhoroni road has narrated events leading to the accident.
Speaking to KTN News while on his bed at Muhoroni hospital, the male survivor 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 adds.
He says the 67-seater Isuzu bus looked well serviced and its brakes sounded functional.
According to the survivor, the bus was carrying passengers going to Kisumu and various parts of Western Kenya. He says they also wondered how the bus was going to drop all the passengers to their destinations safely.
He says that he was thrown off the bus and landed in a muddy swampy area after the bus rolled. Other passengers let out screams and what followed was a scene from hell. A bus with no roof and dead bodies littered everywhere. A few minutes later area residents and police officers arrived at the scene of the accident.
The death toll has since increased to 55 as at 1 pm Wednesday. Those who were injured were taken to Kericho District hospital.
A witness who rushed to the scene says the accident happened a few minutes to 5 am on Wednesday morning.
“I heard a sound of a bus roll and I rushed here. I joined the villagers to rescue those who were injured and some had already died,” he told a Standard journalist.
The witness, who introduced himself as Kipchumba said police officers from Kipkelion and Fort Ternan arrived at the scene shortly after the accident happened and immediately started the rescue operation.
Kipchumba says when he arrived, he saw and counted nine bodies of children above five years being retrieved from the remains of the bus. He says at the time there were about 41 bodies of adults.
However, Kericho police boss James Mugera confirmed there are 31 male casualties, 12 women and seven children who have died.
Home Boyz bus had no license
NTSA confirmed that the bus, operating number KBS 029J, is not found in its website. NTSA boss Francis Meja says the bus was not licenced to operate at night. But sources from Nairobi's Machakos Bus Station intimated to KTN News that Homeboyz bus plies Nairobi-Western Kenya route at night.
Police are searching for the owners of the bus as investigations into the incident kick off.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet has said the owner of the Home Boyz bus will be charged. Police have confirmed the bus was going to Kisumu from Nairobi. When it got to Fort Ternan in Kericho, the bus hit a guard rail and rolled several times.