Kenyan rescuers including police and the African
Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) airlifted 14 out of the 62
students involved in a deadly school bus accident, which claimed
12 lives on Thursday.
An AMREF aircraft flew four critically wounded students from
the western town of Kisii, about 320 km from the capital
Nairobi, for further treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital
(KNH), while a police helicopter brought in 10 other students.
"We received news of the accident involving the 62 students
and we have been preparing to receive them," said Dr Simeon
Monda, acting CEO of KNH.
The hospital said surgeons were ready to operate on some of
the critically wounded students.
"The government has acted quickly and ordered this
evacuation," Monda said.
He added that a team of neurosurgeons and other specialists
were ready to handle the wounded.
The bus ferrying students from various schools in western
Kenya crashed and rolled several times, killing eight of the
students heading to a school musical festival. Four teachers
were among the dead in the accident.
Akelo Misori, the chairman of the Kenya Union of Post Primary
Teachers Union (KUPPET), said the students were under the care
of the teachers from the union.
Kenyan teachers have been on a three-week strike over the
payment of allowances.
Misori said the difficulties involving the airlift of the
injured students called to the urgent need to upgrade the local
health facilities in all the provinces.
"We have our teachers in the field. We will give the children
the necessary support," Misori said.
Kenyan government spokesman Muthui Kariuki said the
government was investigating the circumstances leading to the
deadly accident which occurred late on Wednesday.
Earlier, President Uhuru Kenyatta instructed ministers to
assist with the evacuation of the students from the accident
Most of the injured students remained in Kisii, but the 14
students, some of whom suffered serious wounds, including spine
injuries, were receiving treatment at government expenses.
"We have mobilized adequate space for the admission of the
injured students. We have ensured that the hospital has enough
"We are prepared for 20 patients and we have the beds ready,"
said Health cabinet secretary, James Macharia.
School accidents involving students in Kenya are common,
often resulting in high casualties.
The government has been put on the spotlight for the regular
flouting of the transport regulations.
Professor Jacob Kaimenyi, the cabinet secretary for
education, said the country’s transport policy for schools
appeared to have been flouted especially with an overloaded
school bus having been driven at night.
"We will take action against those involved. But currently,
we have decided to deploy Counsellors to help the families
involved," Kaimenyi said.