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Total 43 adults and seven children dead in Kenya road accident | Coastweek

KERICHO (Xinhua) -- Rescuers work at the site of the tragic road accident . The 67-seater passenger bus that was headed for Kakamega, a town in western Kenya, from the capital Nairobi, is said to have veered off the road and rolled down a cliff at a place called Fort Ternan in Kericho County. At least 50 people were killed and 14 others injured in a grisly road accident involving a commuter bus in western Kenya early Wednesday, the police said. XINHUA PHOTOS - JOY NABUKEWA

Total 43 adults and seven children dead in Kenya road accident

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya has been thrown into mourning following the loss of 50 people in a grisly road accident in the western part of the country.

The early Wednesday morning road accident is the worst on Kenyan roads so far this year, with statistics showing fatalities on the highways are on the rise.

The 67-seater passenger bus that was headed for Kakamega, a town in western Kenya, from the capital Nairobi, is said to have veered off the road and rolled down a cliff at a place called Fort Ternan in Kericho County.

The death toll stood at 50, comprising of 31 men, 12 women and seven children, according to local police.

The carnage shattered the holiday mood that had gripped the East African nation’s residents after the government declared Wednesday a public holiday.

The accident comes a day after data revealed road accidents have surged in the East African nation this year.

Road fatalities in Kenya rose eight percent in the first half of 2018, according to the Kenya traffic police boss Samuel Kimaru.

Accidents claimed at least 2,345 people between January and June compared to 2,165 during the same period last year.

"As at June, there were 1,948 road accidents reported in the country as compared to 1,776 reported in the same period last year," said Kimaru on Tuesday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta sent his condolences to the families of affected passengers, asking drivers to be cautious.

"My heartfelt condolences to the families of fellow Kenyans who lost their lives in a tragic road accident at Fort Ternan in Kericho County this morning and wish those in hospital quick recovery." he said.

Opposition chief Raila Odinga similarly sent his condolences to friends and relatives of those who lost their loved ones in the road accident. "I appeal to the police to arrest the return of madness on roads," said Odinga.

Former presidential candidate Martha Karua offered her prayers to families of victims and condoled with them.

"Who will save us from these accidents?" said former lawmaker Martha Karua.

"My prayers and sympathies to affected families," she added.

In Kakamega, where the accident victims were headed, a somber mood engulfed the town and neighboring regions as people came to terms with the tragedy.

Kenyans in their huge numbers took to social media to express their condolences as they asked the government to take action.

"This is unbearable pain; 50 people dead in one morning.

"Our roads have become death traps.

"My condolences to the family and friends of those who perished," said lawyer Norman Magaya.

Both leaders and citizens debated also possible solutions to help curb the rise in road accidents.

Senator Moses Wetangula noted the return of carnage on Kenyan roads should not be welcomed.

"Offenders must be punished to deter recklessness. I condemn the accident.

"The victims’ families should be compensated," he said.

Others suggested having ambulances on standby along the highway so that victims can be saved on time in case of accidents.

"Some of the 50 lives would have been saved if there was first response to the accident.

"Let us have ambulances as priority," said Hilda Juma.

Some Kenyans suggested that the standard gauge railway should be extended faster to western Kenya to curb road accidents and ease transport.

The Nairobi to western Kenya route is among one of those with highest number of road accidents.

With the other being the Nairobi-Mombasa road, which, however, is now served by a railway line.
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UPDATE:

Death toll from Kenya road crash rises to 56

KERICHO (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police said the number of people killed in a road accident earlier Wednesday involving a commuter bus in Kericho has risen to 56.

Kericho county police commander James Mugera said the toll surged after six people died while undergoing treatment at Muhoroni and Kericho hospitals.

Earlier, authorities said 42 people were killed on the spot and eight others died later in hospitals after the crash at 5 a.m. on the Kisumu-Muhoroni highway.

Kericho County police commander James Mugera said nine of the victims were children, 15 women and 32 men.

He also confirmed that there are 15 survivors.

The National Transport and Safety Authority said the bus was not licensed to operate at night.

The bus was reportedly descending a slope when it hit a guard rail before plunging down a valley and rolling several times. One of the survivors said the bus was overloaded and the crew disregarded traffic rules.

The authorities banned night travel for public transport buses in December 2017 in a bid to stop road carnage, but the directive was later reversed by a court order.
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EARLIER REPORT:

At least 50 killed in road accident in northwest Kenya

KERICHO (Xinhua) -- At least 50 people were killed and 14 others injured in a grisly road accident involving a commuter bus in western Kenya early Wednesday, the police said.

Francis Munyambu, regional police commander, said 42 commuters died on the spot while 8 others succumbed to injuries in hospitals.

Munyambu said they have not established the cause of the accident, which happened on the Kisumu-Muhoroni highway at Fort Tenan area in Kericho at around 5 a.m. local time (0200 GMT).

James Mugera, Kericho County police commander said the 67-seater commuter from Nairobi to Western Kenya veered off a flyover while descending a steep slope and rolled several times after hitting a guard rail.

"The cause of the accident is still not clear as rescue efforts continue in the area," said Mugera, adding that the casualties could rise since more people are still trapped in the wreckage.

           

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