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Death toll in Fort Ternan crash in Kericho climbs to 56

Members of the public look at wreckage of bus that left 50 dead on spot.Photo/Courtesy

The bus was on its way to Kakamega from Nairobi on Wednesday dawn a few kilometres from Fort Ternan. It veered off the road and rolled. Its roof was ripped off.

The bus, ‘Home Boyz’ is owned by Western Cross Express Company Ltd.

Kericho County Police Commander James Mugera said 50 people died on the spot, 31 men, 12 women and seven children.

The death toll raised as 6 people were confirmed dead in hospital while receiving treatment raising the number to 56. The number is feared to increase.

Police reports indicate the 62-seater bus was carrying 71 passengers.

Mugera said the accident could have occurred when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

The bus is said to have hit metal guardrails that lined the highway before rolling several times down a slope.

Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Regional Director Isaiah Onsongo blamed the accident on the driver’s failure to observe road signs.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett said police are looking for the owner of the bus.

He said the bus lacked a licence to operate at night. He said the owner and sacco officials will be charged for violating rules.

The Wenesdays crash brought back a familiar tale of pain, negligence and impunity on Kenyan roads.

In the 2013 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the World Health Organisation estimated that Kenya lost between 3,000 and 13,000 people in road crashes every year.

Data from the Traffic Department in June this year showed that by the end of May, 1,279 Kenyans had died in road accidents.

“Nearly one-third of deaths are passengers – many of whom are killed in unsafe forms of public transportation,” WHO stated.