Traffic was disrupted for two days after an accident involving four vehicles blocked the Nyeri-Nairobi highway on Friday.
A trailer transporting LPG gas lost control and hit three oncoming vehicles at a notorious accident black spot in Kambiti in Makuyu.
The accident left the trailer driver and his loader dead as fears of a gas leak saw police divert vehicles to the Murang’a-Sagana road.
The diversion turned chaotic when it was jammed by public service vehicles seeking alternative routes.
Among those caught in the traffic snarl-up were 6,000 members of the Catholic Church Men’s Association who were travelling from an annual retreat at Murang’a St Mary’s Cathedral Church.
Between Kenol and Saba Saba markets, hundreds of motorists heading to Marsabit and Moyale were forced to use diversions after waiting for hours.
Traffic police officers worked to control the situation on the 40-kilometre stretch.
Hours after the accident, Murang’a South OCDP Paul Wanjama ordered vehicles to be diverted after fears that the gas in the overturned trailer would leak.
The situation worsened on Saturday afternoon as motorists looking for alternative routes caused a further snarl-up. Another accident involving a small truck occurred when the driver lost control and landed on a saloon car.
Stranded passengers complained that the pace at which police clear the road was too slow.
Ryan Mathenge, who was heading to Nanyuki, spent more than seven hours on the road.
“Lack of traffic police on the road made the situation hectic as matatu operators were left to control the situation to their advantage,” said Mr Mathenge.
Nyeri 2NK Matatu Sacco chairman James Kahiro said vehicles plying the route were diverted from as early as 5am on Sunday morning and were still using the Murang’a route past 10pm.