The death toll continues to rise after a bus traveling in central Kenya fell off a bridge and plunged into a river valley, local media reported.
At least 33 people have been confirmed dead so far.
The Modern Coast company’s bus started from Meru and was on its way to the port city of Mombasa Sunday evening when the tragedy occurred, according to Reuters.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the vehicle’s brakes may have failed, because of which the driver could not accurately take the turn at a sharp bend in Tharaka Nithi County, officials said.
The bus veered off the Nithi Bridge and plunged into the river valley below.
As rescue and search operations began, officials immediately confirmed that 24 people were killed.
“We are sadly announcing to the nation … we have lost 24 people in a grisly Modern Coast Bus accident on the notorious Nithi River Bridge along the Meru – Nairobi highway,” county Commissioner Nobert Komora reportedly said.
The bus “must have developed brake failure, because it was at a very high speed when the accident happened,” said senior police official Rono Bunei, as quoted by AP News.
Recovery efforts were brought to a halt Sunday night and then resumed Monday morning, leading to more bodies being found in the wreckage, according to KBC.
Komora confirmed Monday morning that the death toll had climbed to 33, Nation Africa reported. Ten people survived the deadly crash, but the death toll may continue to rise, Komora added.
A resident, Martin Murimi, witnessed the fast-moving bus hit the rail and plunge into the river.
“Several accidents have occurred here but I’ve never seen anything like this,” Murimi told the outlet. “We were chewing miraa when we noticed the bus was moving at high speed. It first hit the rail and swerved back to the road as the driver tried to control it. Suddenly, I saw it hit the rails and drop down to the river.”