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12 passengers perish in Gilgil accident

Twelve people died on Friday morning after the matatu they were travelling in was involved in an accident on Nairobi-Nakuru road.

Five men and six women died on the spot after a trailer heading to Nakuru from Nairobi rammed into their 2NK matatu near Gilgil town. Another passenger died later at the Gilgil Sub-County Hospital.

Scores of other motorists escaped with minor injuries after the trailer, that reportedly developed a mechanical problem, rammed into the matatu before rolling several times.

The 9.30am accident caused a massive traffic snarl up in the area. A witness said the driver of the matatu tried to evade the lorry, which was allegedly speeding.

Speaking at the scene, Gilgil OCPD Emmanuel Opuru said the driver of the truck was to blame for the accident.

He said police had launched a manhunt for the truck driver, who fled the scene. “The information we are getting is that the truck started swaying from one side of the road to the other before hitting the matatu and the other vehicles,” he said.

Opuru said the bodies had been taken to Gilgil Sub-county Hospital mortuary while the wrecks had been towed to Gilgil Police Station.

In the last two years, more than 30 people have died on the steep section of the road with mechanical failures cited as causes of the accidents.

In 2017, a trailer lost control and rammed into a bus killing 20 people while, last year, another bus hit a lorry near the area killing 18 people.