Malindi — Five football players from Kola Beach Football Club perished on the spot and dozens injured after their vehicle was involved in a grisly accident in Malindi.
The players, officials and fans of the club that features in the Kenyan coastal town of Malindi's zonal football league were returning from a match at Marereni area when the accident occurred.
"Kola had lost 2-1 to their opponents and were returning home when their canter was involved in an accident, which involved an on coming semi-trailer," said Dickson Angore who is the area Football Kenya Federation (FKF) sub-branch chair.
Malindi Base Traffic boss Bernard Ibaya confirmed the incident and said the mini-truck was carrying both the team and its fans at the time of the accident.
He said the road has many potholes and the driver was avoiding one of them the accident occurred.
An eye witness Safari Gona, said the players' vehicle collided with a lorry and caused the death of five while 30 others sustained injuries and were rushed to Malindi District Hospital.
Gona said some of those who died were thrown out of the truck due to the impact.
"The players were singing songs of joy as they were travelling back but their joy was cut short in the fatal accident," said Gona.
Following the tragedy, FKF president, Sam Nyamweya, was among the first to condole with the families of the relatives and friends of the bereaved.
"It is a great loss to the football fraternity and I'm calling upon the government to assist the families of the deceased in which ever way possible," said Nyamweya said.
He added: "I would also like to advise all football clubs travelling for away fixtures to ensure that they use vehicles that are mechanically sound and which are fully insured so that we don't lose anymore lives of our players and officials," he added.