Two people have been confirmed dead while 18 others sustained various degrees of injuries after the PSV matatu they were travelling in lost control and plunged in a river at Kamweleni area, Kumutwa location, Machakos Town Sub County.
According to Machakos Director for Emergency and Rescue Services Dr David Mwongela the evening incident involved a 42- seater vehicle that was travelling from Mbooni West in Makeuni County and was ferrying mourners to Nairobi.
“The information we have is that the bus was transporting mourners to Nairobi from Mbooni where they had attended a funeral earlier in the day. But the journey was cut short after the driver apparently lost control of the bus at Kamweleni area and plunged into Ukiwa river killing two of the occupants on the spot,” he told KNA this morning.
Six of those who were injured are currently in a critical condition and receiving treatment at the Machakos Level 5 hospital.
The rest were however treated from minor injuries and later allowed to go home.
It is not yet clear what transpired before the incident but Dr Mwongela says investigations are currently underway to unravel the cause of the accident.
The bodies of the deceased were later moved to the Machakos Level 5 hospital mortuary while the ill fated bus was towed to the Machakos Police Station.
The accident occurs barely two weeks after a similar accident happened at Malili area along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway on November 10.
During the incident one passenger perished on the spot while thirty two others sustained serious injuries.
The accident involved a Nairobi bound bus which was traveling from Mombasa.
Initial investigations indicated the driver of the bus was trying to overtake a convoy of vehicles when he rammed into an oncoming trailer.
On Sunday Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho advised road users to be cautious while on the road by obeying traffic rules and regulations as the safety of others depend on them.
Kibicho who was speaking at the Makutano junction in Machakos during the marking of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims urged Kenyans to change their attitudes and shun from blame games.
The PS reiterated that road accidents and injuries are sudden, violent and traumatic events urging all Kenyans to borrow a leaf from other countries who have lower accident rates.
“Their impact is long-lasting, often permanent. Each year, millions of newly injured and bereaved people from every corner of the world are added to the countless millions who already suffer,” he said.
On her part NTSA Chairperson Alice Chesire regretted that the number of fatalities on Kenyan roads had increased by 17 per cent from 2,699 in 2018 to 3,053 casualties in 2019.
Chesire attributed the accidents to human error and unroadworthy vehicles saying that such vehicles will not be allowed on the roads.
She further urged motorists and other road users to observe the Highway Code, adding that licenses for rogue drivers will be cancelled and the culprits prosecuted.
According to National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) a total of 2,263 people have lost their lives since the beginning of this year a shocking increase compared to 1,927 persons in 2018.
Kenya loses at least 3,000 people on her roads every year making her among the leading countries in the world with the highest highway carnage.
By Samuel Maina