Passenger bus overturns in southeast Kenya, killing 12

April 2nd, 2012 - 11:30 pm ICT by BNO News  

MAZERAS, Kenya (BNO NEWS) — Twelve people were killed on late Sunday afternoon when a passenger bus overturned and fell into a ditch near Kenya’s second-largest city of Mombasa, police said on Monday. The survivors were then robbed of their valuables.

The accident happened at around 5:30 p.m. local time near the town of Mazeras on the highway which links the capital Nairobi and Mombasa. The bus, which went off the road and fell into a ditch, had just left Mombasa and was on its way to Kinango, a settlement about 38 kilometers (23 miles) southwest of Mombasa.

Police said seven people died at the scene of the accident, including a child and the bus driver, while 50 others were rushed to Mariakani District Hospital and Coast Provincial General Hospital. Five people later died of their serious injuries, raising the overall death toll to at least 12.

It was not immediately clear what caused the accident, but one police officer and several of the victims said the brakes of the bus had failed, causing the vehicle to leave the highway and roll over several times before coming to a stop in a ditch. The brakes of the bus had already failed before the trip, but mechanics believed the problem had been fixed.

Police said the bus was not speeding and not overloaded.

After the accident, people who witnessed the accident took advantage of the situation and robbed those killed and injured of their belongings. Passengers said the criminals, instead of helping the victims who were seriously injured, took their phones, money, and other valuables.

Road accidents in Kenya are common due to reckless driving and the poor conditions of roads and vehicles. In August 2011, at least 23 people were killed when a bus carrying members of a family to wedding preparations plunged into a river near Mbooni, a settlement in the Makueni District of Kenya’s Eastern Province. The bus was carrying at least 57 people.

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