In a devastating incident, at least 48 individuals lost their lives when a truck reportedly lost control and collided with other vehicles and pedestrians at a busy junction in western Kenya. The horrific accident occurred on Friday night along the highway between the towns of Kericho and Nakuru, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
Local police commander Geoffrey Mayek confirmed the grim toll, stating, “So far we can confirm 48 dead, and we are suspecting one or two are still trapped under the truck.” Additionally, approximately 30 people sustained severe injuries and were promptly transported to various hospitals. Authorities fear the casualty count could rise further.
Mayek explained, “We are suspecting a truck which was being driven… towards Kericho lost control and rammed into matatus (local minibuses) that were packed at a bus stop, running over those matatus and injuring passengers and pedestrians who were standing by the bus stop.” The collision left a haunting scene of mangled wreckage, as depicted in images shared by local television stations, near the Londiani junction.
The rescue operation has been significantly impeded by heavy rainfall, hindering the efforts to swiftly assist those in need. Collins Kipkoech, a senior doctor at Kericho County Hospital, disclosed that his facility had already received 45 bodies, while additional victims were transported to other medical centers.
Eyewitness accounts shed light on the chaos and horror that unfolded during the accident. Maureen Jepkoech, a witness, stated, “The truck was on high speed, and it was hooting. It tried to avoid several vehicles before it came straight into the market.” Another witness, Joel Rotich, described the incident as occurring in a sudden blur, leaving many with no time to escape. He recounted the scene of confusion and panic as people screamed and ran in the aftermath of the collision.
Tragically, road accidents in Kenya have seen a rise in fatalities in recent years, according to government statistics. The news of this incident has shaken the local community, with Kericho governor Erick Mutai expressing his grief on social media. “My heart is crushed,” he wrote on Facebook, describing it as a “dark moment for the people of Kericho.” Mutai extended his condolences to the bereaved families and assured them that ambulances had been mobilized and all health facilities were on standby to provide assistance.
As the rescue efforts continue amidst challenging weather conditions, the nation mourns the loss of precious lives and hopes for the swift recovery of those injured in this tragic accident.
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