Update: Death toll rises to 24 in Kitui river bus tragedy

The driver was unfamiliar with the terrain.

Update: Death toll rises to 24 in Kitui river bus tragedy. Rest in Peace.

Authorities have confirmed that 24 people have now died after a bus ferrying choir members plunged into River Enziu in Kitui County.

As per reports by locals, the driver from St Joseph Seminary in Mwingi was not familiar with the route and the bridge over the river.

The bus was hired to take a church choir and several other revellers to the ceremony in Kitui County. While most people plunged into the river, many managed to make a last-minute escape.

Deeming it as a "terrible" incident, Kitui governor Charity Ngilu said, "We pray for God’s strength and compassion to comfort the affected families and friends."

She visited the site along with the Red Cross community. "Personnel and law enforcement agencies doing everything possible to search and rescue as well as recovery," she said.

The 30-plus victims were choir members of Mwingi Catholic Church, and were travelling to Nuu area from Mwingi Town.

Police said the choir members were heading for their male colleague’s wedding, when the accident happened.

In a video seen by this writer, the driver of the bus attempted to steer the vehicle past a flooded bridge, but the water tides were too strong, consequently sweeping the bus into the river.

Some of the passengers could be seen screaming and raising their hands through the windows as the bus sank gradually.

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