, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – The death toll after a matatu plunged into a valley on the Nandi Hills-Chemelil road on Tuesday morning has risen to 16.
Ten of the passengers died on the spot while six others were pronounced dead on arrival in hospital or while undergoing treatment, police and Kenya Red Cross officials said.
Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru said the matatu was ferrying passengers from Eldoret to Kisii when the accident occurred at Chepsangor area shortly after 10am.
“We have a very bad accident in Nandi Hills where 10 people have died,” national traffic police chief Samuel Kimaru said on telephone from Salgaa, on the outskirts of Nakuru town where he was attending a road safety campaign. He later confirmed that six others had succumbed to injuries.
Salgaa, located on the Nakuru-Eldoret road is one of the country’s black spots, with many road accidents occurring there.
Several accidents have occurred at Salgaa, the latest being on Saturday night when 12 members of the same family perished on their way back from a dowry-paying event. READ: Relatives among 12 dead in Salgaa accident.
“We are stressing the need to observe road safety regulations. That is what we are doing here at Salgaa,” Kimaru said. “Witnesses have told our officers that the (Kisii-bound) matatu was going down the hill at dangerously high speed.”
Kenya’s road safety record is one of the worst with 3,200 people having been killed in road accidents in the country last year according to statistics from Traffic Police headquarters.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau has assured Kenyans he is determined to minimise road accident fatalities after initiating various measures – including the use of alcoblow – which aid police to identify and prosecute drunk drivers, both during the day and at night.
The government also imposed strict guidelines for night travel which many transport operators have failed to meet.
In the meantime, two cases challenging the implementation of alcoblow will be heard on Monday next week.