A truck veered out of control at a busy junction in the Kenyan town of Londiani, hitting other vehicles and pedestrians, officials have said.
The death toll from a road crash in Kenya has risen to 49, Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen said on Saturday.
The incident occurred on Friday evening in the town of Londiani in the western county of Kericho.
“Unfortunately we lost 49 people in an accident here in Londiani,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, Kenyan newspaper The Standard reported that two additional bodies had been recovered from the wreckage on Saturday, citing local health officials. If confirmed, this would bring the death toll up to 51.
What was the deadly road crash in Kenya’s Londiani?
Police said that the accident, one of Kenya’s deadliest for several years, occurred when a truck veered out of control and hit several other vehicles and pedestrians at a busy junction.
“The search has resumed and we want to remove two of the bodies in the wreckage, we don’t know if they are more,” Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Abdi Hassan said.
The commissioner said that more than 30 people were injured.
The fate of the truck driver was not immediately clear.
“The accident happened in a flash, many of them had no time to escape,” said one witness, Joel Rotich.
“There was a lot of confusion because people were screaming all over and everyone was running after the accident.”
President William Ruto expressed his condolences following news of the accident.
“The country mourns with the families who have lost loved ones in a horrific road accident in Londiani, Kericho County,” the president tweeted. “It is distressing that some of the fatalities are young people with a promising future and business people who were on their daily chores.”
“We pray for the speedy recovery of all survivors; you are in our thoughts,” he said. “We urge motorists to be extra cautious on roads, especially now when we are experiencing heavy rainfall.”
According to Kenya’s National Transport and Safety Authority, at least 4,690 people died in road accidents last year.
sdi/dj (AFP, dpa)