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51 narrowly escape death after Umma Express bus is swept by floods

By Antynet Ford

Fifty-one passengers traveling in a Nairobi-bound bus narrowly escaped death after their vehicle was swept away by floods in the Lager Areli area of Garissa-Mwingi road.

Tana River County Commander Ali Ndiema confirmed the incident saying that the 51 people were on board the Umma Express bus and were traveling to Nairobi when the incident happened at around 11:30 pm.

The commander stated that the driver of the bus dared to cross the flooded road even after his fellow drivers had cautioned him against doing it only to be swept 50 metres away from the main road.

“He risked the lives of fifty people and this is an offense punishable by the law.” Ndiema stated.

He said that most of the passengers escaped unhurt and that rescue operations were on to save those who were stuck on the roof of the bus.

The commander advised drivers to be keen on the flooded Nairobi-Garissa roads to avoid risking the lives of passengers.

“These are sections that were broken during the El Nino rains last year and should be avoided at all costs. We do not want to lose people on these roads and those drivers plying on the route should be highly conscious.” He said.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) announced the closure of the Garissa-Nairobi Highway (A3 lane) this morning due to flooding at Arer Area, between Bangaley and Madogo.

According to the Authority, the flooding at Arer has compromised the road and diversion that was previously in use.

“This poses a high safety risk to the road users. This road, therefore, shall remain closed until the flood waters subside and the damaged section is reinstated.” KeNHA said.

Staff from the authority are on site ready to deal with the washout immediately after the water subsides.

This comes a few hours after KeNHA yesterday evening announced the closure of the road at Mororo area between Madogo and Tana River Bridge due to flooding also.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) issued a warning last weekend to road users concerning the potentially hazardous conditions brought about by heavy rains across the country.

NTSA Director General George Njao emphasized the need for increased caution, urging the public to be extra-vigilant, courteous, and mindful of safety measures.

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