At least 71 people died after a passenger bus collided with a truck carrying tomatoes on a highway in Ghana, police say.

They said the head-on collision between the government-operated bus heading to the northern town of Tamale from the second-largest city of Kumasi and the cargo truck happened on Wednesday evening.

The town is about 420km from the West African nation’s capital, Accra.

Described as one of the worst crashes in the country in years, the accident reduced the bus to a mass of metal and left the road covered with crushed red tomatoes.

Bismark Owusu Fosu, medical director at Kintampo hospital, said on Thursday that 71 people died in the crash, while a further 13 people were seriously injured.

Many passengers were reported to have died on the spot, police said.

“It was very serious. Many of them were already dead,” regional police spokesman Christopher Tawiah said, describing a scene where police and firemen were forced to saw the wreckage to pull out survivors.

“We had to use chainsaws to cut through parts of the mangled bus to get bodies and survivors out.

“The rest are still receiving treatment.”

Kwame Arhin, a doctor at the Kintampo Government Hospital, said 28 people were being treated for head injuries and multiple fractures.

“Seven out of the 28 passengers who were rushed here are in critical condition,” he added.

The cause of the accident is unknown, but police say both vehicles are suspected of speeding.

Local media said a driver of one of the vehicles lost control after falling asleep.

“Some of the survivors are telling us that their driver was feeling sleepy at some point during that time of the night so he was asked to park but he refused,” Kintampo fire service commander Ankomah Twene told local station TV3.

“We believe it contributed to the accident,” he added.

A survivor, Rose Anane, said: “I was fast asleep then I heard a loud bang. We managed to break the glass and it was just a few of us — about 10 — who managed to move out.

“In a matter of seconds then the vehicle went on fire with the others still trapped in the car. We watched on as the fire consumed them. It was late into the night.”

John Mahama, Ghana’s president, said the accident was “very sad news” and sent “condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones” in a series of remarks posted on Twitter.

Ghana has a relatively high rate of road deaths due in part to narrow and poorly constructed roads, failure by drivers to respect speed limits, and inadequate vehicle maintenance.

An average of six people die on the roads every day, according to the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) of Ghana police.

Get the amazing y. 786a2 Trilogy: The inheritance, Game of losers and Love has a mind of its own.

Please Click here To Buy

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.