East Africa

20 killed in Kenya bus tragedy


Summary

  • A video footage of the tragedy showed the bus being swept away as it crossed the swollen river as people watched helplessly.
  • Screams and wailing rent the air as brave young men dived into the water to rescue passengers who were trapped in the sinking bus.

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By KITAVI MUTUA


At least 20 members of Mwingi Catholic Church choir died after the bus they were travelling in plunged into Enziu River in Kitui County, southeastern Kenya, on Saturday.

So far, 20 bodies have been retrieved from the bus while 10 people have been rescued and rushed to Mwingi Level Four Hospital for emergency treatment.

According to Kitui County Police Commander Leah Kithei, the 51-seater bus belonging to Mwingi Junior Seminary, a Catholic Church- run private school, was ferrying the choir members to Nuu area from Mwingi town to attend a wedding ceremony.

Ms Kithei said police were at the scene to coordinate the rescue efforts which were hampered by the raging waters.

“We are hoping to rescue as many people as we can. Sadly, we have recovered 20 bodies from the scene and 10 survivors rescued alive and rushed to Mwingi Level Four Hospital,” Ms Kithei said.

Watched helplessly

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A video footage of the tragedy showed the bus being swept away as it crossed the swollen river as people watched helplessly.

Screams and wailing rent the air as brave young men dived into the water to rescue passengers who were trapped in the sinking bus.

Among the passengers in the ill-fated bus were members of the bridal party, including a woman, her three children and two grandchildren.

The identities of those who drowned could not be immediately established but police confirmed that among the dead was Ms Jane Mutua, daughter to the bridegroom and three children.

The choir members were to perform at the wedding to solemnise the marriage union of the parents of one of the members.

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