Over 30 Wedding Guests Killed After Bus Crashes Into River on Way to Ceremony

At least 33 people died over the weekend when a bus carrying guests to a wedding fell into a river in southeastern Kenya.

The bus was traveling with at least 60 people on board, including carrying choir members, children and flower girls, as they headed to a wedding at St. Joseph's Church in the parish of Kitui.

The incident, which took place on Saturday, happened when the bus driver made an unsuccessful attempt to navigate a submerged bridge and cross the Enziu river. The driver had waited for two hours before deciding to attempt a crossing.

Both the driver, Stephen Kang'ethe, and his co-worker Kenneth Wanazala Okinda are among the confirmed dead.

The first rescue attempts were made by locals after the bus plunged into the river. Divers from the Kenyan Navy later arrived and were successful in saving at least 12 lives.

The governor of Kenya's Kitui County, Charity Kaluki Ngilu, addressed the crash in a post on social media.

She said: "We have this terrible, terrible accident that happened here this morning.

"The bodies that have already been retried right now are over 23. We have more bodies in the bus."

On Sunday she added: "The ill-fated bus wreckage is completely out of the river. 9 more bodies have been recovered today bringing the total bodies recovered to 32.

"Recovery efforts continue tomorrow to ensure no bodies are left behind trapped at the river bed.Thank you all for your messages of good will and condolences."

Of the 12 survivors, eight were adults and four were children page. The wreckage of the bus was retrieved on December 5 with a help of a crane and an excavator.

Social media users said Kenyan officials needed to improve the country's infrastructure, most notably bridges that can withstand heavy rain during the rainy season.

One person tweeted a picture of a poorly made bridge and said: "These are the kind of roads your government is constructing for the people of Kitui and when disaster strikes you are the first one on the scene and start tweeting.

"We need to be true and accountable as leaders. This road was done 3 months ago. Sad.

Another wrote: "I also hope that efforts are underway to build a bridge at Enziu and other rivers in Kitui county to ensure no such tragedies occur again.

"We can't have these year in year out and only get condolences and efforts to retrieve bodies."

A third added: "You should be ashamed. These are things you should have given priority to.

"The construction of this bridge which has been a great problem for years."

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenya offered his condolences to the families and those who had lost loved ones in the incident.

A statement issued by his office also warned of attempting to cross flooded rivers.

It said: "Once again, the President wishes to remind Kenyans across the country to heed government advisory against attempting to cross swollen rivers especially during the current rainy seasons.

"Measures the Government is taking to prevent similar mishaps from reoccurring will be shared in due course."

Newsweek has contacted Governor Ngilu for comment.

Kenya bus crash
Bus wreckage pictures uploaded to Twitter by Governor Charity Ngilu. Charity Ngilu