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Pupils stranded in half-submerged school bus after heavy downpour

A school bus with children on board was almost swept away by flood waters near the South C Mosque following a two-hour downpour on Tuesday night.

Emergency workers found it difficult to reach the stranded pupils.

Kenya Red Cross Secretary-General Abbas Gullet said his team and that from the Nairobi county fire department had been dispatched to the stuck school bus, but were finding it difficult to move through the water.

“We are aware of the situation and a team has been sent there but they are also stuck on the way. We are trying to find alternatives,” he said.

The school bus was stuck on a flooded section of Muhoho Avenue, half submerged, for several hours.

Shortly after midnight and with no sign of the road adjacent to the South C Mosque becoming usable, a handful of motorists parked on the pavement to wait, with others turning back in search of alternative routes.

Large sections of Ole Shapara Avenue were also flooded.

A power blackout in the area compounded the problem making it difficult for motorists and pedestrians to gauge the depth of the water and navigate through it.

At the T Mall roundabout on Lang’ata Road, traffic was at a standstill as a bridge was submerged. The surrounding roads in Nairobi West and Madaraka were backed up as a result.

Several passengers in Lang’ata-bound matatus opted to alight and either attempt to wade across or return to the CBD despite it being after midnight.

One commuter, Annie Waite, reported that a school van from South B that was on its way to drop children at Nyayo Highrise was stuck for hours in a ditch near a petrol station on Lang’ata Road.

But at around 3am, a Good Samaritan rescued the children using a pickup and then helped jump-start the vehicle of another stranded motorist.