27 people die, 19 injured as bus collides with tanker in Makueni

Members of public mill around an accident scene where 25 people have died in an accident in Makindu near Kambu, Makueni on April 25, 2017. COURTESY.
Members of public mill around an accident scene where 25 people have died in an accident in Makindu near Kambu, Makueni on April 25, 2017. COURTESY.

Twenty-seven people died yesterday morning after their bus collided with a tanker on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway at Kalulu Bridge.

Nineteen others were seriously injured when the accident occurred at 2.50am between Kambu and Nthange.

Most suffered broken ribs, legs, hands and had gashing head wounds.

They are admitted at Makindu and Kibwezi subcounty hospitals.

The bus driver was trying to overtake another vehicle when it collided head-on with the tanker that was transporting vegetable oil.

Twenty-four people died on the spot, while three others died on arrival in hospital.

The bus driver was among the dead. The dead were 12 women, 12 men and three children.

The tanker driver and the turn-boy suffered deep cuts in the head and broken limbs.

Sources in Makindu and Kibwezi hospitals told the Star that some of those admitted are in a coma.

Some of the critically injured were transferred to hospitals in Nairobi for specialised treatment.

Area police boss Leonard Kimaiyo said the bus was heading to Nairobi from Mombasa, while the tanker was heading in the opposite direction.

He said the bus, belonging to the Buscar Company, was extensively damaged. The oil tanker’s cabin was also damaged.

Kimaiyo appealed to those who had relatives travelling in the bus to visit the two hospitals.

The vehicles were towed to Kibwezi police station. Kimaiyo urged motorists to adhere to traffic rules.

On Monday, the National Transport and Safety Authority released a report indicating that at least 941 Kenyans have died in road accidents since the year began. This is compared to 1,025 who died over the same period last year.

NTSA noted that the 8.2 per cent reduction is due to enforcement of transport regulations. In the latest statistics, NTSA says the only increase was in the number of boda boda riders who died.

The report shows up to April 23 this year, 361 pedestrians were killed, compared to 394 last year.

Between January and April 23, some 85 boda boda passengers were killed in accidents, compared to 79 in the same period last year.

NTSA director general Francis Meja said 218 people have been killed in motor vehicle accidents this year, compared to 224 last year. NTSA says most fatal road crashes occur at between 5pm to 8pm, with the peak being 8pm.

The accidents were also blamed on drunken driving, drunken riding and drunken pedestrians.