Nairobi, Dec 31: Thirty-six people have been killed and 11 injured in a head-on collision between a bus and a lorry on a notorious road in Kenya where more than 100 people have died in December.
“The death toll is now 36,” said the Rift Valley traffic police chief Zero Arome, explaining the initial toll of 30 had risen, “after six passengers succumbed to injuries in hospital.”
The accident occurred at 3am on Sunday (midnight Saturday GMT) on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.
The buswas travelling from Busia in western Kenya when it collided with a truck coming from Nakuru town.
Arome said the drivers of both vehicles and a three-year-old child were among the dead. The injured were taken to a Nakuru hospital.
One survivor, speaking from his hospital bed, said he had been asleep at the back of the bus when the collision happened.
“All I heard was a loud bang and screams from all over,” he said. “I was seated at the back and was helped out after some time because my legs were stuck. It is by the grace of God that I am alive. I saw many people dead and their bodies mutilated.”
Official statistics show that about 3,000 people a year die in road accidents in Kenya, but the World Health Organisation estimates the figure could be as high as 12,000.
In December last year more than 40 people died when an out-of-control fuel tanker ploughed into vehicles and exploded on a busy stretch of highway. Road deaths tend to increase during the holiday period when people travel to visit relatives.
Hundreds of people have died in road accidents in recent weeks, among them three Pentecostal bishops and a newly elected governor.