At least fifty-two people were killed, and thirty-two were injured in a car accident on Friday in western Kenya, a government official said. A heavy truck was involved in the carnage.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Roads, Transport, and Public Works, Kipchumba Murkomen, said in a statement that the accident occurred at Londiani Junction, a major intersection with a roadside market and a parking garage for public transit.
All of the victims, the statement added, “unfortunately,” were either “trading on the roadside market” or “boarding vehicles at the roadside car park.”
Londiani Junction is located around 210 km (about 130 mi) northeast of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya.
Reports indicate that the truck lost control and collided with many other vehicles, including cars, minibusses, motorbike taxis, and market stalls, at a junction notorious for its high accident rate.
Members of the Kenya Red Cross Society and others worked tirelessly in the pouring rain to free victims from their crushed cars. To aid individuals who were hospitalized, Red Cross volunteers begged for blood donations.
One witness stated that the crash occurred “instantly,” adding that “many of them had no time to escape.”
Murkomen, in his statement, expressed his condolences and issued a number of directives, including the removal of roadside markets from the roadway shoulders, the reevaluation of the driving skills of commercial and public service vehicle operators prior to license renewal, and the launch of road safety education and awareness initiatives.
After the tragic event that took the lives of 52 people, the Kenyan officials issued their statements, assuring the citizenry of much progress and improvement.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there were 4,579 traffic-related fatalities in Kenya that year. By 2022, the number had risen to 4,690, as reported by The Star, a major daily in Kenya.