22 April 2019

Kenya: Easter Car Racing Event Turns Tragic, As Several Perish

Photo: Daily Nation
Wreckages of vehicles that crashed during a car racing competition between Kenyans and Tanzanians in Namanga, Tanzania, on April 21, 2019.

At least eight people are feared dead and several others injured in a gruesome road accident which happened on Sunday evening at Oldonyosambu area on the Arusha-Namanga road in Tanzania during a street racing event.

Arusha Police Commander Jonathan Shanna has said the accident occurred after two saloon cars collided and veered off road ramming into spectators. The two vehicles are believed to have been speeding.

Reports indicate that the casualties are both of Kenyan and Tanzanian nationalities.

Photos shared online showed a mangled wreckage of the vehicles and lifeless bodies of some of the victims lying at the scene of the accident.

The car racing event dubbed "The Arusha Drive 3" had attracted racers from both Kenya and Tanzania.

SPECTATORS

The event was scheduled between April 19 and 21, 2019 and was being advertised under the tagline "The roads will never be the same again".

Many of the dead are believed to have been spectators, even though photos from the event showed several bodies being pulled from the mangled wreckages of the car.

A video clip from the scene showed first responders attempting to resuscitate the victims and others collecting bodies from the road.

Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai and Kajiado Deputy County Commissioner Charles Wambugu said eight people had perished in the accident, but added that the finer details of the crash had yet to trickle in from Arusha last evening.

SCENE OF ACCIDENT

"I am working very closely with my counterpart in Tanzania, Mr King Mwaisumbe, to follow up on the matter," said Mr Wambugu. "The (Kajiado) OCPD has also gone to the scene of the accident and will be briefing me shortly."

The DCC could not confirm what time the accident happened, and was unaware whether the race had been approved by the authorities, but Mr Mutyambai said authorities were aware of the event.

An officer at the Namanga Police post told the Nation on phone that the cars collided side-by-side and veered off the road, hitting spectators by the roadside.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that some of those died or injured were relatives of prominent Nairobi families, some from Runda.

Additional reporting by Anita Chepkoech and Stella Cherono

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