Nairobi — More than 30 people died Saturday night when a tanker rammed into vehicles and burst into flames on the Nairobi-Naivasha highway.
“Over 30 people confirmed dead, many injured and over 11 vehicles burnt at a road traffic accident along Nairobi-Naivasha road as you approach Naivasha from Kinungi,” Pius Masai of the National Disaster Management Unit said in a statement, confirming earlier reports.
The tanker with Ugandan registration number plates was ferrying Premium Bond, a highly flammable substance, according to a senior police officer involved in the search and rescue operation who spoke to us from the scene.
The accident occurred at Karai area on the busy highway.
The gravity of the strike by health workers became apparent following the accident, as the Mt Longonot private hospital where survivors were taken was unable to cope
A senior police officer told Capital FM News that the death toll was likely to rise because 33 bodies had been retrieved as at 3am. The search was still going on as dawn approached and was extended to bushes near the scence.
When reached for comment, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said they were still putting information together on casualties before issuing a statement, but described the incident as “terrible.”
Traffic was diverted to Mai Mahiu after the highway was rendered impassable after the 9pm accident.
The accident involved 11 vehicles, including buses and a police car carrying several GSU officers who were among the dead.
Transport PS Irungu Nyakera, ministry officials and those from the National Transport and Safety Authority headed to Naivasha Sunday morning following the disaster and were excepted to issue a statement at the scene.
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