Bus full of passengers swept away by raging waters

Emergency services have been rescuing passengers who were trapped in a bus that was swept away by floods on a busy highway in northern Kenya.

The bus, with about 50 passengers, was heading to the capital, Nairobi, from northern Wajir county, police said.

The driver had attempted to cross a flooded section of the road when it happened. The bus then became stuck in some mud surrounded by raging waters.

Some were rescued from the bus’s roof in the nearly 10-hour rescue mission.

“All passengers aboard the bus have now been rescued,” the Kenya Red Cross said, adding that it had been a “challenging” operation to save the lives of those “marooned by raging waters”.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday following ongoing rains that have left the Garissa-Nairobi Highway heavily flooded.

Videos shared on social media showed the bus, owned by Umma Express, becoming submerged in flood-water in the Lager Areli area near Tulla village in Tana River county.

Ali Ndiema, the regional police chief, told Kenya’s Nation news website that the driver had “risked the lives of more than 50 people”, adding that this was a punishable offence.

The Kenya Red Cross said it had collaborated with members of the nearby community to reach the passengers.

Two of its boats are continuing to rescue other commuters stranded as the road remains impassable.

Hours before the incident, Kenya’s roads agency had announced the closure of a section of the highway because of flooding.

Over the last week, the East African nation has witnessed heavy rains that are forecast to continue.

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