Local officials say 12 people, including four children, were rescued from the bus that dived into the Enziu River.
At least 23 people drowned when a bus traveling to a wedding in Central Kenya was swept away from a bridge in a flooded river.
“We have this horrific, horrific accident that happened here this morning,” Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu told reporters on Saturday.
“The bodies that have already been retrieved at the moment are older than 23. We still have bodies in the bus,” she said, adding efforts to get the bodies back will resume Sunday morning.
Ngilu posted on Twitter that they are working with the Kenya Red Cross and law enforcement agencies “to do everything possible to seek and save as well as recover”.
This afternoon, tragedy struck Kitui County. A bus carrying Catholic believers was towed while trying to cross a swollen Enziu River in Nguni, Mwingi. Rescue efforts continue. So far there are 17 survivors and unfortunately 21 bodies have been recovered. pic.twitter.com/1VqF5U6g3z
– Charity Ngilu (@mamangilu) 4 December 2021
She said 12 people were rescued, including four children. It is still unclear how many passengers were on board the bus.
The choir members of the Mwingi Catholic Church were traveling for their male colleague’s wedding when the accident took place in Kitui County.
Eyewitnesses said the driver tried to cross rapidly flowing water over the bridge, but the force was too strong and swept the bus under the rushing currents.
Deputy President William Ruto was one of those who expressed his condolences, and also urged motorists to be extra careful on the roads with many parts of Kenya experiencing heavy rainfall.
Officials said the incident was being investigated.