By Peter Mutuku.
Six people died on Wednesday night after a 14-seater matatu they were travelling in, had a tyre burst and rolled several times at Muumandu shopping centre on Machakos-Wote Road.
Five of the victims died on the spot, whereas the sixth succumbed to his injuries while receiving treatment at the Machakos County Referral Hospital.
Nine other passengers sustained serious injuries, and were taken to the referral medical facility for treatment.
Machakos County director of emergency services, David Mwongela, said the ill-fated matatu belonging to Matco Sacco had excess passengers on board.
The public service vehicle, which was heading to Wote from Nairobi, was also speeding when the accident happened, said Mwongela.
One of the survivors, Makau Mutuku, said their pleas to the driver to be careful on the road fell on deaf ears.
“We kept asking the driver to slow down, but he ignored our pleas,” said Mutuku.
“After the rear tyre burst, the vehicle rolled several times. Unfortunately, the driver and a female passenger, who was seated next to him, died after crashing through the windshield,” said Mutuku.
The deceased were moved to Machakos County Referral Hospital mortuary, while the mangled wreckage of the matatu was towed to Machakos Police Station.