x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

41 killed in horror bus crash in Kenya

The bus was travelling from Nairobi to Homa Bay on the banks of Lake Victoria when it flew off the road, rolled over and plunged down a hill.

NAIROBI // At least 41 people were killed today in a bus crash west of Nairobi, the Kenyan Red Cross said.

"It is a horrible scene. Bodies are strewn all over," traffic police official Samuel Kimaru said by telephone from the scene near the town of Narok.

The bus was travelling from Nairobi to Homa Bay on the banks of Lake Victoria when it flew off the road, rolled over and plunged down a hill.

"It is difficult to tell exactly what happened but all indications point to speeding and possibly overloading," he said. "It is quite disturbing."

Police also told the Standard newspaper that the driver may have fallen asleep.

Police and the Kenyan Red Cross said they had confirmed 41 deaths. At least 27 other passenger had suffered "multiple injuries".

The Red Cross said the accident occurred shortly after 2am (3am UAE) some 160 kilometres west of the capital.

Pictures from the organisation showed the bus in the bushes at the bottom of a hill, surrounded by debris and with its roof ripped off.

Mr Kimaru said police had "a difficult time recovering the bodies because this place is hilly and bushy".

"We've dozens others injured and we are not certain how many because they were taken to various hospitals ... we have officers checking with the hospitals," Mr Kimaru said.

He said it was unclear if the driver was dead or among the injured.

Kenyan roads are notoriously dangerous, with buses badly maintained and often overloaded so operators can maximise profits.

In February, 30 people died in a bus crash in the east of the country, and in July a school bus crash killed 20, most of them children.

Traffic regulations and fines were toughened late last year, although the local press continue to point at police corruption as a major problem.