NAIROBI, Kenya, March 3 – Four pupils involved in an accident in Bungoma have been airlifted to Nairobi to receive treatment due to their critical conditions.
According to the Kenya Red Cross, the four are some of the eight students who sustained life threatening injuries after a lorry rammed into them as they walked home after an inter school sports competition at Marakaru area in Sirisia.
Deputy Secretary General Abshiro Halake said two more were to be transported to the Nairobi Hospital by road and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“It was really a nasty accident; nine pupils died, six of them on the spot and three of them later on in hospital. Fifty one were taken to Elgon View Hospital and eight of them were in critical condition and four of them have been transferred to Nairobi by air and two will be coming by road this (Saturday).These were really critical head injuries they sustained. It was really an unfortunate accident,” she said.
She further stated that 14 students have already been discharged following the accident.
“Out of the fifty-one that were taken to Elgon View, fourteen have already been discharged and eight of them have already been evacuated to Nairobi so the rest are actually hospitalised in various hospitals there some in St Mary’s Hospital and others in Elgon View Hospital,” she pointed out.
“They will go to ICU definitely because they are critical care patients but the Nairobi Hospital Doctors will be able to determine that,” she added.
The accident near the Mayanja market on the Bungoma-Kimilili road claimed the lives of 10 school children and left dozens others wounded.
Six children died on the spot while four others succumbed to injuries on Friday night.
Bungoma Police Chief Amos Cheboi told Capital Newsbeat that the children had first been rushed to the Bungoma District Hospital but could not be treated due to the nurse’s strike prompting them to be taken to a private hospital where they were admitted with various injuries.
He said the deceased were pupils from Mugeti Primary School who had participated in Zonal competitions at the neighboring Kimkumbi primary school.
Police say the truck driver did not immediately stop at the scene of the accident for fear of being attacked by residents but he reported the matter at the Bungoma police station, where he has been detained.
Meanwhile, President Mwai Kibaki has sent a message of condolence to the families and friends of the children who died and expressed concern over the continued road carnage in the country.
The President called for maximum caution on the roads to avoid further loss of precious lives.
“I call upon the police to ensure full enforcement of traffic rules and ensure that only roadworthy vehicles operate on our roads to avoid the unnecessary loss of lives,” the Head of State added.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga on the other hand said that what happened to the children was unacceptable and was unnecessary and emphasised the need for action to be taken by police and all administrators involved to make sure it does not recur.
He called upon the provincial administration and the police to ensure that every innocent life that can be saved is saved, irrespective of medical and logistical costs since no young life should be too costly to be saved.
He offered his condolences to the parents, teachers, pupils and the community of Mungechi, Kikwechi and Marakaru Primary schools of Bungoma County, following the incident.
“But increasingly, I am left with a heavy feeling that condolences are not enough. Something more grim and more grave, something absolutely unacceptable happened to these children and some decisive action must be taken,” he said.