11 die in Mutindwa train accident
11 people died on Wednesday morning after a commuter train rammed into a minibus at the Mutindwa level crossing, near Buruburu shopping centre.
The train hit the midriff of the 33-seater matatu and dragged it for 150 meters before screeching to a halt.
The train was heading to Dandora, while the Umoinner matatu had just picked morning commuters from Umoja estate and was heading to the city centre.
Initial reports indicate that the matatu driver had ignored a directive by a traffic police to wait for the train to pass.
Seven people were confirmed dead on arrival at the Mama Lucy Hospital, while one died while being transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital, according to Buruburu Deputy OCPD Benjamin Nyamai.
Three bodies were collected from the scene of the accident and were taken to City Mortuary.
17 people were transferred to Kenyatta Hospital for further treatment and two others taken to MP Shah Hospital.
“I was in the bus, and then the train came as the bus was crossing and hit it. We were dragged some several meters from the point of the accident. I was thrown out of the vehicle,” said Evans Chasio who sustained head and leg injuries.
The driver and conductor of the Umoinner matatu survived the accident and immediatelywent into hiding.
Police later in the afternoon announced that they had arrested Edward Wanjau, the driver.
Rift Valley Railways (RVR), who own the train, released a statement acknowledging that the Mutindwa level crossing neither had barriers nor a Railway Crossing sign.
The company nevertheless attributed the grisly accident to reckless driving.
“It was wrong for the bus to park on the rail road. Despite the train hooting, the bus did not move in response to the oncoming train,” the company said its statement.
Out of 34 patients taken to Mama Lucy Hospital, two were treated and discharged immediately.
Five patients were admitted at the hospital.