11 presidential guards among 39 killed in night crash 


Security personnel and residents at the scene of Saturday night’s horrific accident at Karai on the Nairobi-Naivasha highway. PHOTO | MACHARIA MWANGI

Eleven presidential guards were among 39 people killed in Saturday night’s gruesome accident on the Nairobi-Naivasha highway.

Six people were also injured in the 9.45 p.m incident.

A truck bearing Ugandan registration number UAK 519C and which was carrying flammable chemicals is said to have hit a speed bump at Karai after which the driver lost control and veered into the opposite lane where it ploughed into about 13 vehicles heading to Nairobi and exploded into flames.

A General Service Unit (GSU) Toyota Land Cruiser, registration number GKB 961G, was among the vehicles. Nine guns were recovered from the scene.

The GSU officers from the Presidential Guard were based at State House and were coming from Bomet County where President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, had toured earlier in the day.

“The fatalities included 11 officers from the General Service Unit (GSU) who provide VIP protection, including to His Excellency the President,” State House spokesman Mr Manoah Esipisu said in statement.

Mr Kenyatta Sunday sent message of condolences to the families of the victims.

Three survivors were admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital while another is at the Nairobi Hospital. All suffered serious burns. Two others were treated and discharged.

Transport principal secretary Nyakera Irungu said Sunday there was inadequate road signage around the scene.

“We do not have adequate signage around the area and that is a fact. We shall be looking into that,” said Mr Nyakera at a Press conference called by Interior secretary Joseph Nkaissery.

“The bumps were erected earlier this year after residents of the area protested about the many accidents happening there. They said we either erect them or they will themselves.”

He said the government will conduct investigations to determine the exact cause of the accident, including reassessing the design of the speed bumps.

Mr Nkaissery said the accident was caused by a “light truck” transporting flammable material from Mombasa to Uganda, dismissing earlier reports that it was a fuel tanker.

He said the bodies of the victims were Sunday moved from the Naivasha Mortuary to Chiromo Mortuary in Nairobi for identification.

National Disaster Management Unit boss Pius Maasai advised those who lost their loved ones to report to Naivasha Police Station for assistance.

A survivor, Mr Edwin Wafula, who suffered burns on his hand, said he was travelling to Nairobi in the company of four other people when their car caught fire. “The flames caught vehicles on both sides of the road,” he said.