Residents rescue passengers trapped in the Mombasa bus that plunged into Nithi River on July 24. A total of 34 bodies had been retrieved by Monday morning. PHOTO/COURTESY

By John Mugendi

At least 20 people died after a bus that they were traveling in towards Mombasa from Maua in Meru County plunged into River Nithi along Meru-Nairobi highway.

Reports indicate that the bus, whose total number of passengers is yet to be established, developed brake failure while going down the Nithi slope and hit the guard rails before falling off the bridge in Tharaka Nithi.

Members of the public rushed to the scene after the accident and helped rescue those injured and retrieve the bodies before they were later joined by police officers and Tharaka Nithi County rescue team.

Eye witnesses told The Press Point that the vehicle was speeding when the accident occurred.

The injured were rushed to Chogoria Mission Hospital and Chuka County Referral Hospital.

Four more bodies had been recovered by the time the rescue team suspended the operation due to darkness.

It is believed more bodies could be trapped in the wreckage and others might have been carried away by the waters.

“We have suspended rescue operations until tomorrow morning. The bodies have been moved to local hospital morgues,” one of officers said.

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