Ten people died on the spot while another three succumbed to their injuries at Sultan Hamud Sub- County Hospital.
Thirty-one were injured and nine are in critical condition, among them a family travelling to Mombasa to enjoy the upcoming holiday season. Witnesses blamed the accident on the speeding driver of a lorry carrying ballast that ploughed into the 62-seater bus during the 11.30pm accident.
The right side of the Ladha Coach bus was ripped apart on impact. The lorry burst into flames, burning the driver and the turn boy to death.
The driver of the bus died on the spot. Four of those admitted to hospital were children aged below 12.
Police described a scene of horror, with bodies crushed beyond recognition. Body parts were strewn on the ground.
Bloodied items were scattered on the road. A road contractor later scooped the ballast that had spilled on the road. “It was a terrifying site. Mutilated body parts were strewn all over and you couldn’t even tell a man from a woman,” said Mukaa OCPD Ferdinand Nyongesa.
“We collected the body parts and lumped them together for transport to the mortuary where a more specialised form of identification like DNA test can help in identifying the victims,” he added. Police said it was not immediately clear how many passengers were in the bus because the bodies had been mutilated.
The bus conductor who survived said the bus had left Kitui at 8pm carrying 59 passengers, excluding children below one year.
The bus then left Mwingi at around 11am to pick passengers at Kitui before leaving for Mombasa.
Michael Muli, the bus conductor, said the driver of the oncoming lorry ferrying ballast was speeding.
It smashed into the right side of the bus, killing 10 people on the spot. Muli, who sat on the front seat on the left side, said the driver attempted to swerve to avoid hitting the lorry but it was too late.
“I was seated at the front of the bus and shouted that the lorry was going to hit the bus. The driver died on the spot,” said Muli.
Lydia Peter survived the crash with her seven-month-old son. But she is worried because she does not know the whereabouts of her husband Peter Kimanzi and eight-year-old daughter.
The family was going to the coastal town for a holiday. She groaned in pain at Makindu Level Four Hospital with fractures on her legs and left hand.
Her son lay beside her with a fractured hand, oblivious of what had happened.
Lydia recalls that she was half asleep when the accident occurred. When she came to her senses, she cried out for her baby.
“I just heard a big blast, and when I regained consciousness, I remembered my baby and asked if anyone had seen him. Then I inquired about my husband and daughter but I was told they had been taken to Machakos Hospital in critical condition,” said Lydia.
Another survivor, Kilonzi Mane, said the accident occurred at around 11.30pm, yesterday night.
Mane, 62, blamed the accident on the driver who was speeding on a hilly area. Some people reportedly looted from the accident victims.
“Soon after the accident about two minutes, some young men emerged from the bush. We thought they were coming to help us but they took most of the belongings. I lost my phones, coat but am lucky to be alive,” said Mane.
According to the doctor in charge, Douglas Makali, the critically injured patient is now in stable condition, though she had severe head fractures.
“We received eight critically injured from the accident, among them four children aged below 12. We have attended to the one critically injured and we hope she will be stable before we take her for CT scan to ascertain the extent of the damage on her head,” said Makali.
News Source: STANDARD Digital