11 perish in Embu accident

Accident

Elizabeth Wanjagi (on a wheelchair) at Embu Level Five Hospital. She is one the survivors of the accident that occurred at Kivwe village in Embu county.

Photo credit: George Munene | Nation Media Group

Eleven people died on Tuesday morning in grisly a road accident at Kivwe village in Embu County.

Scores others were seriously injured and rushed to Siakago and Embu hospitals for treatment.

Most of the victims were elderly people who were going to Siakago in Mbeere North Sub-County to register for the Inua Jamii cash transfer programme, Nation.Africa understands.

Survivors were trapped in the mangled bus and police as well as residents had to use axes to hack away metals to free them.

The morning accident caused a major snarl-up as residents and law enforcers blocked the road to rescue the survivors.

Property belonging to the victims, which included bags were strewn all over the area and police kept guard to keep off thieves.

The bus was travelling to Siakago from Kirie area when the tragedy that left everyone shocked struck.

According to witness accounts, the bus was moving uphill when the brakes failed. The vehicle then reversed and rolled several times, plunging into the Thura river, killing the 11 people on the spot.

Mbeere North police boss Kivinda Kilonzo confirmed the deaths.

Accompanied by their family members

"It is unfortunate some of the passengers have succumbed to injuries. However, we are yet to establish the exact number of those dead and survivors who were taken to different health facilities," he said.

Mr Kilonzo promised to give a comprehensive report to the press after the conclusion of the probe into the horrific accident.

However, the residents said they counted 15 bodies at the scene, adding that the majority of those who perished were relatives from the same village.

"The elderly were being accompanied by their family members who also died in the accident," former nominated MCA, Rose Mutuuri said.

Ms Mutuuri said it was unfortunate that the accident, which could have been avoided, had claimed several lives.

She urged the government to be delivering registration services for the Inua Jamii cash programme at the village level to avoid such accidents.

"The elderly should be registered in their homes so that they don't engage in unnecessary travel that risk their lives," she said.

A witness, Stella Mwikali said she was working at her home when she heard a loud bang.

"I rushed to the scene and found the victims screaming for help," she said.

Another witness, James Kithu, said he saw the bus abruptly stop at the hill before it overturned and plunged into the river.

"Immediately after the accident I joined villagers in the rescue mission and we managed to save some of the passengers," said Mr Kithu.

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