, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 31- The death toll from the dawn accident along Nakuru-Eldoret highway has risen to 36 after 6 more people succumbed to injuries.
Police and medics said two died at the Molo District Hospital while four others succumbed to their injuries at the Nakuru Level Five hospital.
“The death toll is now 36 after six passengers succumbed to injuries in hospital,” Zero Arome, the Rift Valley Traffic Police chief who had given the toll of 30 said. Among the dead was a three-year-old baby.
11 others remained hospitalised, many with serious injuries.
The accident occurred when a bus collided head-on with a truck, killing both drivers on the spot.
“I was asleep when the accident occurred and all I heard was a loud bang and screams from all over before I was helped out,” a patient said from his hospital bed.
Most of the survivors were on the back seats.
The accident occurred at Migaa about 10 kilometers from the Salgaa black spot. It occurred at 3 am when most passengers were asleep.
Police said the accident may have occurred due to the bus break failure before it collided head –on with the truck that was headed to Eldoret from Nakuru.
The bus belonging to Matunda Sacco mainly operates from Kitale, Busia, Kakamega and other western Kenya destinations to Nairobi.
It was ferrying passengers from Busia to Nairobi when the accident occurred, while the truck was heading to Eldoret from Nakuru, according to police.
Police say Sunday’s accident is the worst on that killer highway since the beginning of this month, with the death toll now over 100 on that stretch alone.
The East African country is ranked among countries with the worst road safety records globally based on a 2015 World Health Organisation (WHO) report titled the Global Status on Road Safety.
The report shows that Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda with respectively 29.1, 32.9 and 32.1 deaths per 100,000 people, are among the worst 10 performers on road fatalities in the continent. It is among the worst 20 in the world, with Uganda placed better 27.4.
While available statistics show that up to 3000 people die annually from road accidents in Kenya, this year’s toll is likely to be even higher due to the increased number of accidents recorded since June.
WHO differs with the country’s official statistics and instead places the annual death toll at an average of 12,000, with many accidents blamed on faulty vehicles and minimal or total lack of enforcement by authorities coupled with bribery.
The report shows that no African country except South Africa meets any of the UN’s seven main vehicle safety standards.
Police Headquarters is yet to release the final accidents toll for 2017 which is expected at the beginning of the New Year.
By December 15, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) revealed that 150 lives had been lost for the two weeks, a number that has stretched further.
Other notable accidents this year is the one that claimed the life of Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru on the Nyeri-Karatina road on November 6.
In December last year, more than 40 people died when an out of control fuel tanker ploughed into vehicles and then exploded in Naivasha.