11 Kenyan varsity students die in bus crash

A bus carrying students from a top Kenyan university collided with a truck on a busy highway after skidding in heavy rain, killing 11 of them and injuring 42 seriously, police said.

The accident occurred at 5:50 pm (2:50 GMT) Monday at Maungu, 360 kilometres (220 miles) from the capital Nairobi, when the students from Kenyatta University were travelling to the coastal town of Mombasa.

Ten people died on impact and another died later in hospital, police said, adding that 42 people were seriously injured.

“The driver of (the) university bus was overtaking a fleet of motor vehicles and as it was raining heavily, the bus skidded to the right side of the road,” the report said.

This “prompted the driver of the truck to avoid a head-on collision, hence hitting the left side of the university bus,” it added.

The bus was carrying 58 people.

The injured were taken to a hospital in the nearby town of Voi, the Kenyan Red Cross said on X, formerly Twitter.

Road accidents are common in the East African nation, where road conditions are often poor and traffic regulations violated or ignored.

According to figures by the National Transport and Safety Authority, 4,324 people were killed and 18,561 injured in 2023 in road accidents in Kenya, down 7.8 per cent from the previous year.

However, the start of 2024 was deadly, with 536 people killed between January 1 and February 11, a five per cent rise over a similar period last year.

The most high-profile one led to the death on February 11 of 24-year-old world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum.