Monday, January 28, 2013
A truck headed for South Sudan killed four people at the Likoni crossing on Saturday morning. The lorry
was carrying perfumes and cosmetics in 3,000 cartons worth of millions of shillings in a 40 feet container.
The truck was from from Tanzania, where it had loaded the goods, shipped from Dubai. The driver lost control and rammed into MV Likoni ferry killing three people on spot. The fourth person died while receiving treatment.
Three women were crushed to death by the container, while an 8-year-old boy succumbed to injuries at the Aga Khan Hospital. Scores of people were also injured.
Kenya Ferry Service management said 31 people were injured. Eight of them were rushed to Aga Khan Hospital. Ten to Coast Provincial General Hospital. Eight to Likoni District Hospital. Two to Navy Hospital, two to Savannah Hospital and one to Nyali Children’s Hospital.
Questions are now being raised as to how the lorry was allowed to pass through the Lunga Lunga border. The border post has recently become notorious for smuggling of goods right under nose of the security officers manning it.
KRA regional coordinator and communication officer Fatuma Yusuf admitted that Lunga border is porous. “We have a porous border. We are trying our best to keep it under our close watch. We call on wananchi to give us information on the movement of goods at the border," said Fatuma.
The driver of the ill-fated truck, 28-year-old Mohamed Bishar Ali, a Kenyan of Somali origin, may face murder charges. He was rescued by police, as rowdy commuters bayed for his blood. His other two colleagues escaped.
Coast traffic police boss Joshua Omukuta said the lorry's brakes failed as it waited in the queue. It knocked down commuters who were getting into the ferry.
“Our report show that the accident was caused because of careless driving," said Omukata. "We are have arrested the driver and will charge.”
KFS MD Hassan Musa said that they are looking into the accident and when the casualties are recognized the Insurance Company will compensate all those injured and the bereaved..
“We have insurance cover and we want to assure all that we have sent our representatives in all hospitals to confirm the reports and they will be compensated for the losses,” he said.
The truck had to be plunged into the water to ease traffic and avoid a stampede. Several politicians including Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta ,William Ruto ,Chirau Mwakwere ,Ali Hassan Joho and Suleiman Shahbal are among those who consoled the injured. They sent their condolences to the bereaved families.
Speaking at Coast Provincial General Hospital, Uhuru called the for speedy completion of proposed Sh28.9 billion Dongo Kundu bypass project from Mombasa to the South Coast.
“It’s unfortunate that we continue to lose lives at Likoni channel. The project should be stepped-up to ease congestions at the busy channel,” said Uhuru.
He said the channel needs a bridge. Joho announced stringent laws to foster safety at the ferry but urged commuters should be careful at the channel when crossing.
“Be warned that we shall put in place strict rules to curb the same accidents happening in this place, people should be extra careful when at the ferry and observe the rules set.” he warned.
Source: Standard Digital