At least 36 people have died in a head-on collision between a lorry and a bus bound for Nairobi on a treacherous road near Migaa.
Local officials said the accident happened at 03:00 (0:00 GMT), with the bus speeding in the wrong lane about 10 kilometers from the Salgaa black spot. According to police, the accident may have occurred due to the bus break failure before it collided head-on with the truck that was headed to Eldoret from Nakuru.
The bus belonging to Matunda Sacco mainly operates from Kitale, Busia, Kakamega and other western Kenya destinations to Nairobi.
Kenya has been ranked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the world’s worst countries for road safety and local authorities believe over 100 people have died in the same area on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway in recent weeks.
The bus is believed to have been carrying 46 passengers to Nairobi from the western town of Busia when the accident happened.
“The death toll is now 36 after six passengers succumbed to injuries in hospital,” Zero Arome, the Rift Valley Traffic Police chief who had given the toll of 30 said. Among the dead was a three-year-old baby.
11 others remained hospitalised, many with serious injuries.
“I was asleep when the accident occurred and all I heard was a loud bang and screams from all over before I was helped out,” a passenger who survived the crash told a local Capital FM.
The drivers of both vehicles are believed to be among the dead, with the youngest victim reportedly a three-year-old child.
Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross, Abbas Gullet, used Twitter to express his condolences for those who had lost family and friends and thanked the Red Cross, Red Cross Ambulance Service and volunteers who assisted at the scene.
Condolences to families that have lost loved ones in today's unfortunate road accident at Migaa, along Nakuru-Eldoret highway. Thank you @Ems_Kenya, Kenya #RedCross staff and volunteers for your response. pic.twitter.com/YMS44tqsep
— Abbas Gullet (@Abbas_Gullet) December 31, 2017
Police have said Sunday’s accident is the worst on the highway in the month of December and the National Transport and Safety Authority responded by announcing an immediate ban on overnight travel for long-distance buses following Sunday’s crash.
Earlier this month Kenyan officials announced the road was going to be renovated into a dual carriageway in 2018, in order to try and minimise accidents on the deadly stretch.