An infant died while 27 students and six teachers from four secondary schools in Kwale County were injured on Saturday night after a bus ferrying them from Mombasa overturned at Shimoni-Mwangoi area along the Lunga-Lunga-Likoni road.
The nine-month baby whose parents are both teachers died on the spot in the 8:40 pm accident involving a bus belonging to Ngozi Rai Girls Secondary School.
According to Lunga Lunga Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Josephat Biwott the students and teachers, some of whom suffered serious injuries were rushed to the Msambweni County Referral Hospital and admitted.
He said though all the victims were initially admitted only 12 are still in the ward as the rest were later discharged.
“Among the eight students still admitted is one who lost an arm in the accident and three teachers among them the deceased child’s parents,” he added.
The administrator said that the students and teachers were from Perani, Mwereni, Mwananyamala and Lunga Lunga secondary schools.
“The students were drawn from different schools and were on their way back from a sports event in Mombasa when tragedy struck,” said Biwott and discounted claims students from Ngozi Rai were in the bus.
“None of the Ngozi Rai students was in their ill-fated bus which had been hired by the other four schools,” he said.
He further said that the bus overturned after the driver swerved to avoid a head-on-collision with oncoming vehicle at a narrow section of the road.
“The bus driver was seemingly speeding at the time of the accident as he lost control of the vehicle while trying to steer it back to the road,” he added.
He however, rebuked school administrators for flouting a government ban on night travel by school buses. “The accident could have been avoided if the ban on 6am-6pm on school bus travel was strictly followed,” he said and asked the police to arrest drivers flouting traffic regulations.
Biwott said the law must be followed to ensure special care is taken while transporting school children.
By James Muchai