People mill around and search through the aftermath of a traffic accident in Londiani Junction area along the Kericho-Nakuru highway in Kericho County, Kenya's Rift Valley region, Kenya, 01 July 2023. EFE/EPA/STR

Dozens dead in Kenya lorry crash

Nairobi, Jul 1 (EFE).- The death toll from a road crash in western Kenya has risen to 49 as a rescue operation continues, the government confirmed on Saturday.

According to local media, Kenyan Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen said the death toll of the crash that took place on Friday had risen from 45 to 49.

The incident took place at around 6:30 pm in the Londiani crossing, in Kericho county, some 200 kilometers north-west of Nairobi.

Murkomen visited the scene on Saturday from where he confirmed that the truck involved in the accident was not Kenyan, but was registered in Rwanda.

The minister said it was difficult to determine whether the lorry, which was carrying a shipping container, was in a condition to circulate when the driver lost control of the vehicle at a busy junction.

According to eyewitnesses, the truck driver allegedly lost control of the lorry and ran over pedestrians, shopkeepers and matatus (collective transport vans) who were parked on the side of the road.

Murkomen added that Rwandan authorities would be involved in the investigation into the accident.

According to Abdi Hassan, the regional commissioner of the Rift Valley where Kericho is located, 30 people were also injured in the accident, while Kenyan media reported Friday night that over 60 were rushed to different hospitals in the county and neighboring Nakuru.

“This is very painful, and there is absolutely no words to express the pain from Londiani tragedy,” President William Ruto tweeted on Friday.

“What a sad way to close the week. What a sad way to end the month of June. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends who have lost their loved ones,” he added. EFE