Fifty killed in Kenya bus crash

Al Jazeera News:  

Residents look at the wreckage of a bus that crashed, near Fort Ternan along the Londiani-Muhoroni road in Kericho county, Kenya

Fifty people have been killed in a bus accident in western Kenya early on Wednesday, authorities said.

Witnesses and police on Wednesday said the bus swerved off the road while driving down a steep slope, and rolled into a ditch at 4 am local time (0100 GMT) in western Kericho county.Police and rescuers had counted 50 people dead, including seven children.  “A few survivors” were taken to nearby hospitals, Mugera said.

According to police, the bus was travelling from Nairobi to the western town of Kakamega and was carrying 52 passengers.

Rift Valley regional police boss Francis Munyambu told the Associated Press that survivors from the bus were receiving treatment at local hospitals.

President Uhuru Kenyatta sent his condolences to victims’ families and wished those in hospital a quick recovery.

“I would like to remind drivers to always exercise caution to avoid such catastrophic incident,” he said on Twitter.

Residents near where the crash occurred early on Wednesday morning heard screams and ran to the scene.

“I woke up when I heard the noise and came here with other people, we found passengers screaming and asking for help, we managed to save a few people who were alive but the others were already dead”, said Jackson Kosgei.

The Kenyan Red Cross wrote on Twitter that the bus had overturned. However, more details on the cause of the accident were not immediately available.

Official statistics show that around 3,000 people die annually in road accidents in Kenya, but the World Health Organization estimates the figure could be as high as 12,000.

In December 2017, 36 people died in a head-on collision between a bus and a truck in the east African country.

In 2016, more than 40 people died when an out-of-control fuel tanker rammed into vehicles and then exploded on a busy stretch of highway.