At least 20 people have been reported to have drowned after a bus travelling to a wedding party was swept away by fast-flowing waters into a flooded river in Kenya.
Some of the eyewitnesses at the scene narrated that four children were among the passengers in the vehicle swept away from the road by the flood.
Our correspondent learnt that some of the passengers aboard the stricken bus managed to escape before the vehicle was quickly submerged, and were helped to safety.
As gathered, onlookers screamed after the yellow school bus hired to take a church choir and other revellers to the ceremony in Kitui County keeled over as well as sank.
It was learnt that the incident occurred when the driver of the vehicle tried to cross fast-flowing water over a bridge in the Enziu River, about 200km (125 miles) east of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Speaking to newsmen after the incident, the Kitui governor, Charity Ngilu, while addressing newsmen said: “We have this terrible, terrible accident that happened here this morning.
“The bodies that have already been retrieved right now are over 23. We have more bodies in the bus,” she said, adding that efforts to recover the corpses would resume on Sunday morning.
The governor disclosed that no fewer than 12 people had been rescued, including four children, even as it was unclear how many passengers were aboard the bus when it tipped into the Enziu River, about 125 miles (200km) east of the capital Nairobi.
Witnesses said the driver had stopped to negotiate the river and was close to the other side when the bus was swept beneath the churning currents.
Deputy president William Ruto was among those to extend his condolences and also urged motorists to apply extra caution on the roads with many parts of Kenya experiencing heavy rain.