Thirty people are also seriously injured after a truck lost control at a busy junction in western Kenya, police say.
At least 48 people have been killed when a truck apparently lost control and rammed into other vehicles and pedestrians at a busy junction in western Kenya, police say.
“So far, we can confirm 48 dead and we are suspecting one or two are still trapped under the truck,” local police commander Geoffrey Mayek said after the accident on the highway between the towns of Kericho and Nakuru on Friday night.
“Thirty people have been seriously injured and rushed to various hospitals. The numbers could be more but as of now we are sure about 30.”
Regional police commander Tom Odera confirmed the death toll stood at 48.
Heavy rains are hindering rescue operations, local media reports said.
“We are suspecting a truck which was being driven … towards Kericho lost control and rammed into matatus [local minibuses] that were packed at a bus stop, running over those matatus and injuring passengers and pedestrians who were standing by the bus stop.”
Peter Otieno, a driver, who witnessed the accident said, “I saw a speeding oncoming trailer. I swerved and escaped hitting him head-on. The person who was behind me thought I wanted to buy something. He overtook me and that is when he was hit. The trailer went off the road and hit other vehicles.
“I saw about 20 bodies with my own eyes. There were other bodies that were under the vehicle.”
The Kenya Red Cross said the truck rammed more than six vehicles and ran over pedestrians. Images posted by local television stations showed several mangled vehicles.
“My heart is crushed,” Kericho governor Erick Mutai said on Facebook. “It is dark moment for the people of Kericho. My heart goes out to the families who have just lost their loved ones.”
The death toll makes the accident one of the most deadly on Kenya’s roads in recent years. Last year, 34 people died in central Kenya when their bus veered off a bridge and plunged into a river valley.
The number of people killed on Kenya’s roads has increased in recent years, according to government statistics.
“The country mourns with the families who have lost loved ones in a horrific road accident in Londiani,” Kenyan President William Ruto wrote in a tweet.
“It is distressing that some of the fatalities are young people with a promising future and business people who were on their daily chores.”