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Tragic Bus Accident Claims Lives of Kenyan University Students

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In a heart-wrenching incident on a rain-drenched highway, a bus ferrying students from Kenyatta University to the coastal city of Mombasa collided with a truck, resulting in the death of 11 individuals and leaving 42 others with serious injuries. The accident took place at 17:50 (1450 GMT) on Monday near Maungu, approximately 360 kilometres from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Fatal Journey in Heavy Rain

According to police reports, the tragedy occurred as the university bus, carrying 58 passengers on an academic excursion, attempted to overtake a line of vehicles amidst heavy rainfall. This maneuver led to the bus skidding towards the right side of the road, forcing the oncoming truck driver to veer to the left in an attempt to avoid a head-on collision, ultimately striking the bus.

The impact was devastating. Ten passengers died at the scene, and another succumbed to injuries in the hospital. The Kenyan Red Cross confirmed that the injured were promptly taken to a hospital in Voi for emergency care.

Kenyatta University Responds

The day following the accident, Kenyatta University expressed its deep sorrow over the tragic event. In a statement, the university announced the establishment of a help desk at the main campus to offer support and assistance during this difficult period. Additionally, there is an ongoing assessment of the injured students for possible evacuation to Nairobi for further medical treatment.

A Persistent Challenge

Road accidents are a persistent issue in Kenya, attributed to poor road conditions and a general disregard for traffic laws. The National Transport and Safety Authority’s statistics reveal a troubling trend, with 4,324 fatalities and 18,561 injuries in 2023 due to road mishaps, though this marked a 7.8 percent decrease from the previous year.

However, 2024 has started on a grim note, with 536 fatalities recorded between January 1 and February 11, indicating a 5 percent increase over the same period last year. The country has witnessed several tragic incidents, including the loss of 24-year-old world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum in February, and recent accidents that claimed the lives of a high school student, a teacher, and several others in separate incidents.

A Nation Mourns

As Kenyatta University and the broader Kenyan community mourn the loss of young lives and grapple with the aftermath of this tragedy, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for improved road safety measures and adherence to traffic regulations to prevent future accidents. The country continues to seek solutions to its road safety challenges, even as it mourns the victims of these tragic events.

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