Scores injured in early morning mishap

January 7, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7- Scores of passengers were injured on Wednesday morning after the bus they were travelling in lost control and veered off the road at Westlands roundabout on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital.

The 50-seater public service vehicle was making its way into Nairobi from Busia when the accident occurred just before dawn.

Area Traffic chief James Onyango said that a sister shuttle ferried the injured to the Kenyatta and Aga Khan hospitals.

"We have just removed the wreckage but it’s not easy to say what went wrong," Mr Onyango told Capital News at the scene of the accident.

He said investigations were underway to ascertain the cause of the crash.

"The vehicle will be inspected and if found that it was a mechanical defect that caused the accident and then it will absolve the driver from any charges," he said.

Two of the 32 victims who were admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital were in a critical condition according to hospital authorities.

One of them had internal injuries while the other seriously fractured his hand.

"One of the victims is being wheeled into the theatre while the other is being treated for multiple fractures on his hand," Jacob Simiyu, an administrator at the hospital said.
Capital News spoke to one of the casualties Musa Odhiambo who said the accident may have been caused by speeding.

The accident comes in the wake of a report by the Traffic department that revealed that 274 people were killed in separate road accidents across the country over the Christmas and New Year periods.

Only last week, seven passengers were killed when another bus from Kisii veered off Waiyaki Way and landed in a ditch.

According to the Traffic headquarters, 248 of the victims were killed last month, while 26 others lost their lives after January 1.

Of these, 109 were pedestrians who were knocked down by motorists while others are passengers, drivers, pedal and motor cyclists.

Many of the accidents occurred in Nairobi, followed closely by Central and Rift Valley Provinces.

The police have vowed to intensify crackdowns on un-roadworthy vehicles and motorists flouting traffic regulations, to curb road carnage.


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