NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – It has now emerged that the Kenya Railways Corporation had as late as February 2013 indicated that it would not set up a level crossing signage at the Mutindwa crossing because it had not approved the level crossing in the first place.
Through a Twitter conversation with @fredgituthu and @Muhoss dated February this year, the railway firm said a level crossing signage would only be established after the level crossing is approved.
Details why the crossing had not been approved were not provided but the railway company indicated that discussions on the issue were ongoing.
“@Kenyarailways_ are you aware that MutindwaRd is open to traffic and there’s no railway X or warning sign at the intersection?” asked @Mohoss before @fredgituthu picked up on the conversation.
“@fredgituthu KRC hasn’t approved the provision of a level crossing at Mutindwa. Hence no level crossing signage can be provided at this stag (e),” responded the Kenya Railways.
Fast forward to Wednesday October 30, 2013 and a train rams an UmoInner Sacco bus that got stuck on the railway tracks at the intersection after it tried to speed past, them leaving 12 people dead.
“Accident scene cleared. Once again we are deeply saddened by the occurrence. Condolences to families, relatives and friends of casualties,” tweeted the railway corporation after the tragedy.
The corporation also said through their twitter account that measures would be put in place at the Mutindwa crossing to avert a repeat occurrence.
The Mutindwa road, which crosses over the railway line, was opened to traffic early this year after traders at the Mutindwa market were evicted.
A traffic police officer normally mans the Mutindwa intersection but reports from witnesses indicate that there was no officer there on Wednesday morning.
The Sacco later released a statement trying to shift blame to police officers for not being present at the intersection when the accident occurred.
“But also we should question the police because police should always stop the vehicles when the train is coming. So question is did the police also sleep on their job?” asked the Sacco.
The driver of the bus has already been arrested.