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The BBC's Cathy Jenkins
"Many of the buses are very old, badly maintained and often over-oaded"
 real 28k

BBC's Noel Mwakugu
"They both plunged into the river"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 3 April, 2001, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
River hampers Kenya bus salvage
On-lookers at the river bank
Relatives are angry with the slow progress of the operation
Kenyan emergency workers are having difficulty retrieving the bodies form Sunday's bus crash from the Sabaki river.

Anxious relatives have been looking on getting increasingly frustrated with the slow progress.

Location of the 1 April double bus crash in Kenya
The workers have been hampered by strong currents, and have found it difficult to attach cables to the vehicles so that they can be lifted.

Thirteen bodies have been retrieved so far, and dozens more are feared dead, their bodies are trapped by the wreckage in the river.

Speeding

Survivors have said that the two buses had been racing each other.

A bus conductor of one of the buses told a BBC reporter in hospital that the buses had been trying to overtake for some 20km before the accident in a race to get to the coastal town of Malindi first to pick up passengers.

The accident happened on a bridge over the Sabaki river near Malindi, 96 km (60 miles) north of Mombasa early on Sunday evening.

Salvage workers in the river
Salvage workers have had difficulty attaching cables to the buses
One of the buses reportedly swerved to avoid another vehicle carrying tourists that had stopped on the bridge and hit the other bus from behind. They both plunged into the flooded river below.

The river is home to crocodiles and hippos.

The East African Standard quoted a witness, Mama Veronica, as saying: "The scene was horrific. The guard rails had been crushed flat and bodies were falling into the water."

On 29 March last year 101 people were killed when two overcrowded buses collided and burst into flames at Kapkatunga 300km (185 miles) west of Nairobi.

That accident occurred when one of the bus drivers lost control while negotiating a sharp corner and hit the other bus, police said.

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See also:

02 Apr 01 | Africa
Kenya buses 'were speeding'
28 Mar 01 | Africa
Kenya fire toll confusion
20 Apr 00 | Africa
Kenya bus crushed between lorries
16 Aug 00 | Africa
Train crash in western Kenya
06 Feb 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Kenya
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