Death toll in Nithi bridge Modern Coast bus accident rises to 36

Nithi bridge accident

Some relatives of victims of the Nithi river bridge accident at Chuka County Referral Hospital on July 26, 2022. The accident has so far claimed 36 lives.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

Another passenger injured in the Nithi bridge Modern Coast crash on Sunday night has died while receiving treatment at Chuka County Referral Hospital, bringing the death toll to 36.

The Chuka Referral medical superintendent, Dr Moreen Ogeto, said eight other survivors are receiving treatment at various hospitals, including Kiirua and PCEA Chogoria mission hospitals and Kenyatta National Hospital.

A total of 24 passengers, including the driver and the conductor, died on the spot when the bus heading from Maua to Mombasa plunged about 40 metres into the river below the bridge. Some 12 died while receiving treatment, including the latest case.

Passengers suffered multiple fractures in the legs, hands and spinal cord from the impact.

Relatives of the deceased passengers are identifying their loved ones and postmortems are underway at the Chuka Referral and PCEA Chogoria Mission Hospital mortuaries.

The identification process is being coordinated by Red Cross officials and police.

Several bodies have been picked up for burial and others were relocated to mortuaries closer to the deceased passengers’ homes.

Prone to crashes

“We want to have a coordinated body identification exercise led by the county security team and Red Cross officials to avoid inconveniences, because some of the bodies are in bad shape,” said Eastern Regional Commissioner Evans Achoki.

Mr John Wainaina, whose loved one died in the crash, said: “We have moved the body of our relative to a mortuary near our home in Nakuru County as we plan to bury it next week.”

One deceased passenger from Majengo in Meru County, who was a Muslim, was buried on Monday.

Ms Mary Kirinya, a relative of another crash victim, told the media yesterday that they would bury their departed one next week in Igembe South constituency.

Leaders continue to call authorities to redesign the section of the road that is prone to crashes. The sharp corner there has been blamed for most of the accidents.

Notorious bridge

Former Tharaka Nithi governor Samuel Ragwa, now a Senate candidate, said the blackspot had claimed many lives and urged regional leaders to push for the reengineering of the road.

“The only solution to this notorious bridge is redesigning the section of road to minimise the corner,” Mr Ragwa said.

Speaking in Meru County on Tuesday, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga promised to have the section redesigned and a modern bridge built.

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