About 15 British tourists were injured when a coach crashed in Kenya’s port city of Mombasa. The vehicle rolled off the road and tumbled down a 16 foot drop before ending up on its side in the lane for traffic coming the opposite way. The tourists were believed to have been travelling from an Indian Ocean resort hotel to the city’s Moi International Airport at about 6 am when the accident happened.
“The driver lost control on the Makupa Causeway and veered off the road,” said Joshua Wamukata, Traffic Commandant in Coast Province. The causeway links Mombasa Island to the Kenyan mainland.
“The bus fell down a five metre drop and rolled over onto another road,” he added. “It was very fortunate that there were no vehicles on the other road.”
Mark Bizley, who was travelling in a car behind the coach, told the BBC the driver struggled to control the vehicle after a tanker in front began spilling water on the road.
He said: “We were behind the local coach company coach, who in turn was behind truck carrying water that was leaking quite heavily onto the road. With all the water, the coach’s wheels lost grip and started to snake. I could see the driver was really struggling to keep the vehicle straight and it just rolled down the embankment onto the other carriageway.
“It was very traumatic; our driver was very upset as I think he knew the driver of the coach.”
According to the Kenyan police, one woman was in a serious condition but out of danger. Her nationality had not been confirmed, but police reports suggested that the entire passenger were British. Several other passengers suffered minor injuries.
The injured tourists were taken to two hospitals in Mombasa, although some were quickly discharged. Two were reportedly kept in the hospital.
A spokesman for the British High Commission in Kenya’s capital Nairobi said: “Our consular staff is assisting injured people at hospitals.”
Kenya has one of the worst road safety records in the world – according to government statistics, more than 3,000 people are killed in road accidents annually. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website warns that: “road conditions and driving standards are often poor.”
Tourists have been warned to stay away from Kenya’s polling stations because of fears that the presidential election in Monday may set off violence, as happened last time in 2007.