The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Death Toll in Voi, Malindi Accidents Rises to 18

THE death toll from two accidents in Voi and Malindi on Saturday morning has risen to 18. The number of those dead from the Voi accident rose to 13 after the driver of the Vanga bus died on Saturday afternoon while undergoing treatment at Voi district hospital.

12 other people haddied on the spot and 19 others were injured seriously in the grisly road accident at Ndii area near Voi on Saturday. The Vanga Coach Company bus was ferrying passengers from Nyeri to Mombasa when it collided with a Nairobi bound lorry.

At Shauri Moyo along the Mombasa Malindi highway near Kilifi town, a Nissan matatu driving to Kilifi from Mombasa collided head on with a tour van killing four people instantly. The matatu was trying to overtake another vehicle that was heading to the same direction near the Mombasa cement clinker processing plant.

The matatu driver died on arrival at Kilifi district hospital where other fifteen victims ncluding one tourist were also taken.Another survivor died as he was receiving treatment while five others including a pregnant woman and two children were referred to coast general hospital.

Kilifi traffic boss Festus Motomu said the matatu had carried excess passengers and was also over speeding."All those who lost their lives were in the matatu and the tour van was carrying only one tourist who is now admitted at the KDH. Some of the survivors also claimed that the driver was driving recklessly despite calls by the passengers to drive carefully," he said

Motomu however, said the police have launched investigations on how the matatu managed to pass several police check points with passengers exceeding the stipulated number.

"It seems that there was some laxity somewhere and we are investigating that," he said.In the Voi accident, witnesses said the driver of the bus was speeding all along. "We cautioned the driver that the speed was dangerous and could cost our lives but he ignored us," an elderly survivor at Moi hospital in Voi explained a midst groans.

Police officers who visited the accident scene said that several people died after they were run over by other vehicles plying the road after they were thrown out of the bus following the crash.

"The passenger cabin was ripped off completely. Some passengers were thrown out of the bus following the crash. Scores were run over by vehicles plying the route since it was still dark," said the officer.

Taita OCPD Samson Kinne said that the driver of the bus was trying to overtake another vehicle when a speeding truck emerged ahead and caused the fatal crash. "The bus was speeding to overtake when the accident occurred. The right hand side was completely ripped off. Those injured were taken to Moi district hospital. Most of them are hospitalized in critical condition," said Kinne.

Kinne said those killed in the carnage were 10 adult males and two women.Dr Maasai Mustapha, a medic at the hospital's accidents and emergencies ward said the injured sustained multiple fractures and cuts.

"Six have been treated and discharged but 13 have been transferred to the Coast General hospital for specialized treatment," noted Dr Maasai.

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