Hundreds stranded in Kenya’s 15-hour traffic

Hundreds of motorists spent Saturday night stranded on Kenya’s Nairobi-Mombasa highway following a massive traffic jam that lasted more than 15 hours.

The gridlock began at 10pm (+3GMT) on Saturday night had not been cleared by 1pm on Sunday.

The gridlock was blamed on an accident, heavy rain and three functions taking place in Machakos, about 35km east of Nairobi.

Heavy trucks, buses and personal vehicles were parked on the road from Athi River to Chumvi junction that branches off to Machakos Town.

Clear the road

Machakos County Commissioner Matilda Sakwa said an accident at Prima Rosa involving a truck and a pick-up van caused the gridlock.

The driver of the pick-up died on the spot.

Police spent the night trying to clear the road to ensure traffic flow.

The snarl-up was made worse by three major events that took place in Machakos on Saturday, with the heavy rain compounding the problem.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was in Machakos for a burial, while Gor Mahia played Bandari FC at Kenyatta Stadium.

A motorcycle

There was also a live concert at the People’s Park, which attracted many fans from Nairobi, making the highway a nightmare.

The road is also undergoing construction to make it a dual carriageway.

A traveller who spoke to the Nation said he had to alight from a public service vehicle and use a motorcycle from Simba Cement to Chumvi Junction, a distance of about five kilometres.

Other travellers chose to walk on foot rather than spend the night in the vehicles.

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