“On Sunday night, a Fashionable Coast firm bus travelling from Meru to Mombasa veered off the highway in Tharaka Nithi County, plunging into River Nithi, 40 metres beneath.
“I used to be having a drink with associates lower than a kilometre away at a preferred joint alongside the freeway.
“All was merry earlier than the night was shattered by a frantic name from my colleague Daizy Rutere informing me of the accident that has since claimed not less than 33 lives.
“I rushed to the scene with one other volunteer, Frank Mbae, the place first responders have been met with a gory sight; of demise and anguish, our bodies strewn throughout the river financial institution.
“Onlookers thronged the highway, posing a threat to themselves and motorists, as they lined atop the bridge, peering at these courageous volunteers down beneath.
“Having discovered a secure parking space, I headed down the ‘demise valley’ the place well-wishers have been ferrying survivors up a steep incline to the roadside.
“The bus, Fashionable Coast, was half into the water. To get the victims out, rescuers needed to take care of the fast-flowing River Nithi and Mwandumi stream, which joins Nithi simply on the bridge. It was muddy and slippery. Our bodies have been strewn throughout.
“I used to be shocked and confused.
“A baby, the identical age as my final born, barely a 12 months previous, was pulled from the wreckage, and I reached out to assist. I hopped over the stream and jumped into River Nithi. Not considering twice – however that I am unable to swim.
“Youngster in hand and tears blinding me, I headed up.
“On the highway, I met nominated MCA Karimi Wa Mbae who had responded in a double cab automobile. Mbae’s driver, with out hesitation, drove us to Chuka Basic Hospital however not earlier than two different injured folks have been aided into the automotive.
“With the kid in my bosom, I prayed, beseeching it to reside. On the hospital, Tharaka Nithi ambulances have been offloading the primary victims; medics have been busy catering to victims and receiving our bodies. I salute all of the workers there for his or her efforts.
“The kid was, nonetheless, sadly pronounced useless on arrival.
“Earlier than heading again to River Nithi, we assisted in eradicating different our bodies that had been taken to the hospital and drove again in a police automotive, the place we proceeded to maneuver extra our bodies up the incline.
“A girl was discovered alive and assisted in a short time.
“It is just this morning that I learnt of the demise of a pal who was on the bus, travelling again to work. I want the injured quick and full restoration, and prolong my profound condolences to the bereaved.
“I ask highway customers to maintain to security pointers. We use the Nithi bridge every day however keep low speeds. Allow us to not blame the highway, however, us, the highway customers.
“The demise toll on the identical black spot is harking back to the 1997 Tawfiq accident, and Stage Coach too.”
– Mutuiri Gitonga is Tharaka Nithi County Meeting Public Relations Officer