A truck collided with multiple vehicles and market traders in western Kenya, resulting in the tragic death of at least 51 people, police said.
Dozens more were injured and hospitalized in the horrific accident, which took place Friday evening in an area notorious for vehicle crashes near the Rift Valley town of Londiani, about 125 miles northwest of the capital, Nairobi.
Officers at the scene counted 51 bodies, but more people were believed to be trapped in the wreckage, Rift Valley police commander Tom Odera told the Associated Press.
The Kenya Red Cross Society said on Saturday 32 people were injured and taken to hospitals and has asked for people to donate blood to support the injured.
CHILD, 7, PLUMMETS FROM FERRY TO HIS DEATH; MOTHER DIES TRYING TO SAVE HIM
The accident happened after a trailer reportedly lost control, slammed into six other vehicles and ran over a pedestrian, according to the Red Cross. Emergency responders were interrupted by heavy rainfall and people were still trapped in the wreckage, the group said.
Kithure Kindiki, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration, called for increased enforcement of traffic rules in wake of the disaster.
“The fatal road accident at Londiani Junction in Kericho County this Friday evening is a tragedy that marks a dark end to the month of June 2023. Heartfelt condolences to families and friends of the deceased. Speedy recovery to all survivors of the accident, who are receiving medical care in various facilities in Kericho and Nakuru Counties,” Kindiki said.
“I urge all road users to strictly adhere to traffic rules. I particularly appeal to drivers to exercise extreme caution, and desist from speeding, overloading and dangerous or careless driving,” he continued.
KENYA STARVATION CULT: DOZENS OF BODIES RECOVERED ON CULT LEADER’S LAND
“Police officers across the country are directed to enforce traffic rules firmly and apprehend all offenders flouting traffic rules, including but not limited to those driving defective and unroadworthy motor vehicles.”
Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen visited the scene on Saturday morning and said the government would relocate markets away from the highways to prevent such future accidents.
President William Ruto tweeted a condolence message calling the accident “horrific.”
“It is distressing that some of the fatalities are young people with a promising future and business people who were on their daily chores,” Rufo said. “We pray for the speedy recovery of all survivors; you are in our thoughts. We urge motorists to be extra cautious on roads, especially now when we are experiencing heavy rainfall.”
THAILAND WOMAN HAS LEG AMPUTATED AT BANGKOK AIRPORT AFTER IT BECAME TRAPPED UNDER MOVING WALKWAY
Witnesses shared photos with the Associated Press that showed mangled vehicles caught in the wreckage.
Police said rescue operations continued overnight Friday.
The Kenyan Red Cross Society has set up stations at hospitals where people can report loved ones missing and is providing psychological support to those affected.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.