6 May 2014

Kenya: Explosion Victims Visited in Hospital

A nurse at KNH supports a relative of one of the Thika Road blast who was overcome by emotions after seeing her relative who was one of the victims of Thika road terror attack at KNH yesterday. Photo/Monicah Mwangi

A child, Kirika Ananda who is one of the victims of Thika road terror attack at a ward in KNH yesterday.Photo/Monicah Mwangi

EMOTIONS ran high as relatives and well wishers went to Kenyatta National Hospital to visit victims of the bus explosions on Thika Road that claimed three lives on Sunday.

Medics had a hard time controlling the well wishers who had been camping outside the ward past the normal visiting hours, waiting to be ushered in for the lunchtime visit.

The 17 patients were among 84 who suffered multiple injuries, following the evening attack on Githurai and Mwiki bound buses.

A pregnant mother lost her child in the attack, while a young boy who lost track of his mother, and is to undergo amputation on both legs, has finally been reunited with her at one of the hospitals attending to the victims.

KNH received 33 victims; 16 have since been treated and discharged, three are said to be in critical condition, while the rest are said to be responding well to treatment.

Most of the patients are nursing fractures, soft tissue injuries and trauma, as medics sought to assure the public that efforts will be made to ensure speedy recovery.

Health Secretary, James Macharia was among those who visited the injured and condemned the incident.

"Enough is enough, these kind of events must come to an end. All Kenyans must team up and say enough is enough," Macharia said.

He hit out at the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks and condemned them for targeting "innocent civilians going about their normal lives".

"Yesterday's [Sunday] events got an impact on all of us and shocked the entire country because of its timing. This kind of scenario cannot be condoned," the CS said.

The attack occurred barely 24 hours after another incident in Mombasa, where three people died and scores others sustained multiple injuries.

Among those admitted at KNH's special ward for the attack victims include minors, mothers and middle aged women, most who are still reeling from the shocking incident.

A survivor, Hellen Njeri appealed on public to beware of their surroundings when travelling to avoid similar attacks.

Although not confirmed, Njeri said that three passengers who had boarded the Githurai bound bus alighted at Allsopps stage, despite having expressed an interest to get off at Roasters stage.

"They seemed to have changed their minds and alighted at Allsopps, contrary to their earlier plans. They are also said to have been in possession of a bag that they left behind while alighting," Njeri narrated, as she struggled to control pain from her right leg that sustained a fracture.

Njeri said it was not possible to describe the three men, who are said to have been seated towards the rear end of the bus, as what followed after the vehicle took off was "total confusion after a loud bang was heard in the bus".

"We could not comprehend what had transpired, as it was not clear if the bus had rolled, if it was a tyre burst or if it had caught fire," Njeri said, adding that the fumes in the ill-fated vehicle were "confusing and not common".

"I knew something was terribly wrong when I realised that the bus had not rolled, and yet the smoke was not the usual one that comes from a burning object," Njeri said.

She was later rescued with good samaritans, together with other patients and rushed to KNH, while other 47 victims were admitted at Aga Khan and a smaller number retained at Neema Hospital along Thika Road.

Meanwhile, the government has sought to assure all victims that their bills will be settled by the state. Macharia said that talks had been finalised with the private hospitals to ensure patients recover with minimal interference.

"Please let the patients not worry about the bill, we have communicated with the relevant hospitals and told them to take care of the injured till they are healed."

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