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At least 13 killed, 21 injured in bus-truck crash

25 November 2013, 08:00

Machakos - At least 13 people were killed and 21 others seriously injured in a grisly road accident along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway on Saturday night.

Deputy Traffic Police Commandant James Onyango confirmed the accident occurred near Sultan-Hamud area along the busy highway and involved a public passenger bus and a truck which were travelling in opposite directions.

"We confirm 13 deaths and 21 injuries. The accident occurred on Saturday night involving a bus that was heading to Mombasa from Mwingi and a lorry which was coming to Nairobi from Mombasa. Both the drivers lost their lives," Onyango told Xinhua on telephone.

He said they have not established the cause of the accident. Onyango however suspected that both the drivers of the bus and truck might have slept on the way since it was at night or it was caused by poor visibility.

"But we don't want to speculate. We have launched investigations to establish the exact cause of the accident and increasing road carnage across the country," Onyango said.

The Nairobi-Mombasa highway is usually very busy with trailers transporting goods from the port city of Mombasa to Nairobi and later to Western part of the country including Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

Analysts said the accidents have been on the increase in Kenya this year but the police have blamed drivers who often float traffic rules.

With over 3000 deaths recorded annually, Kenya is one of the 10 developing countries in the world that contribute nearly 50 percent of total global road traffic injury burden.

Between January to October, official statistics showed that over 5,000 road accidents have so far been recorded resulting in over 2,000 deaths, 5,000 serious injuries and 4,000 minor injuries.

"They overtake along blind spots, corners, steep hills and break all the traffic rules with impunity," Onyango said.

He also cited speed as one of the main risk factors contributing to the high number of road accident fatalities in Kenya. "An increase in average speed is directly related to both the likelihood of a crash occurring and the severity of the consequences of the crash," he added.

- Xinhua


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