MAKUENI, Kenya, April 27 (Xinhua) -- At least eight people were killed and 12 others seriously injured in a grisly road accident along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway in eastern Kenya early Thursday.
Area divisional police commander Zacharia Bitok said the accident occurred when a commuter minibus which was ferrying passengers from Mtito-Andei to Nairobi collided head-on with a truck that was headed to Mombasa a few meters from Salama market in Makueni County.
Bitok said the driver of the minibus was among those killed. "The truck, which was loaded with timber, overturned following the impact of the collision," Bitok told journalists at the scene.
"The eight died instantly while 12 others among them the lorry turnboys were rushed to Machakos level-5 hospital," he added. He said the driver of the minibus failed to overtake some vehicles leading to a head-on collision with the truck.
Bitok said the whereabouts of the others remains unknown. The accident has disrupted trafficking flows since the truck is blocking the busy highway.
The incident comes two days after another one happened few meters away from the scene and killed 27 people and 20 others were injured in the accident at Kambu, Kibwezi area. Police say they are investigating both incidents.
Kenya ranks among African countries with the highest toll of road accidents that are caused by over speeding and lethargic enforcement of traffic rules.
Government statistics indicate that the East Africa nation loses at least 3,000 people annually from road carnage, with close to half being pedestrians while several others are left with injuries, according to statistics from the police.