The death toll in the Londiani junction road accident has risen to 51 after two more bodies were retrieved from under the wreckage of the trailer.
Kericho County Health CEC says a total of 51 bodies have been received at the Kericho County Hospital and Londiani Sub-county hospital mortuaries, as of Saturday morning.
At least twenty-one (21) people sustained severe injuries and are receiving treatment at the Kericho County Hospital.
Authorities have commenced a search for the driver of the truck that rammed into seven vehicles at the Londiani junction along Kericho-Nakuru Road.
Rift Valley Regional Police Commander told The Standard that the fatal accident involved at least ten vehicles.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen is expected to lead a government delegation to the accident scene and also visit the injured in the hospital.
Earlier, we reported that Kericho Police Commander Geoffrey Mayek confirmed the rise in the number of fatalities.
According to witnesses, a trailer lost control and rammed into six public service vehicles before landing in a ditch on the roadside.
Heavy rains hindered rescue operations which were being carried out by Police and Kenya Red Cross volunteers.
Peter Ochieng, a driver, told The Standard that the trailer which was heading to Kericho lost control and was about to hit the vehicle he was driving head-on but he was able to evade.
The trailer ended up ramming into six vehicles before landing on a ditch where it claimed the lives of traders and their customers who were by the roadside.
“It was around 6:30 pm when the driver of the trailer hit my truck and lost control, ramming into the matatus,” Otieno said.
Londiani Sub County Police Commander Agnes Kunga, who was among the first people at the scene, said the trailer was heading towards Kericho Town from Nakuru when the accident occurred.
“Rescue operation is underway; a number of people are trapped in the wreckages. We are working hard to remove them despite the rains,” she said.
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She said Police could not immediately establish the cause of the tragic accident but said the number of dead could rise because most of those taken to the hospital were in serious conditions.
“We wish those injured a speedy recovery as we try to rescue those trapped in the vehicles. It is a bad crash.”
Eyewitnesses at the scene told The Standard that the incident occurred when a lorry driver lost control and collided with several vehicles, including Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).
The survivors of the Friday evening accident have been taken to the Kericho County Hospital and other health facilities within the County.
Kericho Governor Eric Mutai mourned the deceased saying the county had mobilized ambulances and gotten all health facilities on standby.
“My heart is crushed. It is a dark moment for the people of Kericho. My heart goes out to the families who have just lost their loved one in a worst road carnage at Londiani junction,” he wrote on Facebook.
“May God give us grace and strength at this difficult time.”
Kericho Women Representative Beatrice Kemei said that she had contacted emergency response teams in the country to help with the rescue operation.
“I send my commiserations to families who have lost their loved ones and healing prayers to those injured,” she said.