A tanker carrying inflammable substances rammed into several vehicles before bursting into flames near Karai on the Nairobi-Naivasha Highway, killing 40 people and injuring dozens on Saturday.
Witnesses at the scene said the driver of the tanker lost control while going downhill and hit the other vehicle which created chain of knocks. The accident on the busy highway, some 80 kilometres west of Nairobi created a horrible scene.
“The fire spread very fast burning 10 other vehicles. A General Service Unit (GSU) Land Cruiser registration number GK B 961G was also burnt, killing the officers on board. Most bodies were burnt beyond recognition,” said the police report.
Transport PS Irungu Nyakera, while addressing the media on Sunday morning at the scene, said that nine police guns were also recovered and put the death toll at 40.
The Kenya Red Cross has set up an information desk at the Naivasha police station where relatives have been urged to report their missing ones for identificatified..
NTSA boss Francis Meja confirmed that 12 vehicles were burnt, adding that one was a PSV and the rest private. The matatu was carrying 14 passengers, who all perished.
Among the burnt vehicles was a pick-up truck carrying administration police officers that was heading to Nairobi. Three of them are among the dead. Eight magazines of the guns they were carrying were recovered.
Mr Edwin Wafula, a survivor who suffered burns on his hand, told the Nation he was travelling to Nairobi in the company of four other people when their car caught fire. The fire caught cars on both sides of the road. The truck was coming from Nairobi, but those heading to the city were also burnt,” he said at the scene.
“I was a distance away and that enabled me to slow down and reverse,” he told the Nation. “It was a huge explosion and other motorists had little chance to escape.”
Source: Nation Kenya, Kenyan media