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Rescuers dig out car from mud after being swept by floods, four bodies found – PHOTO

Four bodies of people who drowned at the notorious River Enziu in Kitui County three weeks ago were on Tuesday found trapped inside the car they were traveling in.

A mangled wreckage of a Toyota Probox they were travelling in was found buried 10 metres underneath the river bed after 22 days of relentless search by emergency agencies

The bodies have been positively identified by relatives.

The victims, two women and two young men, went missing on April 16 after their car was swept away by the swollen river.

PHOTO | KITAVI MUTUA
PHOTO | KITAVI MUTUA

Rescue teams drawn from Kitui county government, Kenya Red Cross, National Youth Service and Disaster Management Unit had camped at the river since the incident happened.

According to County community liaison officer David Mbisi, the bodies were found about 100 metres downstream from the river’s bridge after days of excavating the river bed.

Mr Mbisi said the recovery of the bodies had brought relief to their families who had spent three weeks agonizing over the disappearance of their loved ones.

“The grieving families and search teams did a lot of work, initially concentrating along the river banks, only for the bodies to be found hidden beneath the river,” the county officer said.

The victims are said to have left Nairobi on the fateful Monday morning in a taxi hired by one of them Judith Ndunge, to attend the burial of her sister-in-law at Nuu Village in Mwingi.

PHOTO | KITAVI MUTUA
PHOTO | KITAVI MUTUA

Ms Ndunge was accompanied by her friend, identified as Cecilia Kinuthia, while the taxi driver Dominic Ndunda carried along his friend Robert Ngonzi to help him in case the car got stuck in mud.

Their journey ended barely 10 kilometers from their intended destination when the vehicle was swept as they attempted to cross the swollen river.

“It a double tragedy for our family because after burying our mother, we lost our auntie and three other friends without trace” Mr Mwinzi, a trader in Thika told the Nation at the scene.

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu intervened and mobilised experts from the Disaster Management Unit to help in the search.