Nothing could have prepared the pupils of St Gabriel Primary School in Mwingi, Kitui County, for the tragedy that befell them after a successful trip to Mombasa. At least 10 pupils died when their bus was involved in an accident at Kanginga, along the Mwingi-Garissa road on Saturday night.
The pupils, who had been escorted by three teachers and their matron, had completed their four-day educational tour and were on their way back home when tragedy struck.
The accident happened just three kilometres from Mwingi town, their destination. They were in a bus belonging to Nguutani Secondary School. The section of the road where the 11pm accident happened is steep, narrow and has a sharp bend. A lorry coming from the opposite direction went out of control and collided with the bus, ripping off the side. The bus rolled and landed on the side in Kanginga River.
Some pupils were hurled out of the vehicle. At least 27 suffered injuries. In Mwingi town, parents were waiting for their children. Vehicles belonging to the Kenya Red Cross Society, police and county government took the injured to the Mwingi Level Four Hospital, where 32 were admitted, six in a critical condition. Eight pupils died on the spot and one at the hospital. Another one died at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), where four pupils had been transferred.