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02.02.2007 General News

Sixteen Perish At Akuse Junction

By Daily Graphic
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A Man Diesel tipper truck yesterday rammed into a 23-seater Mercedes Benz bus at the Akuse Junction, killing 16 people (14 of them on the spot).

The accident spot, which was still strewn with the wreckage of the passenger bus, human flesh and blood, shoes and slippers, had attracted a large crowd from the neighbourhood of Ningo Korpe when the Daily Graphic team arrived on the scene.

Friends and relatives of the deceased were also seen wailing and weeping uncontrollably.

Twelve people in the Benz bus, which was travelling from Hohoe in the Volta Region towards Tema, as well as the driver and the aid of the tipper truck, with registration number AS 7175 X, died on the spot after the head-on collision, while two persons, a male and a female, died later at the Akuse Government Hospital.

Some grief-stricken eyewitnesses told the Daily Graphic that they heard the big bang at about 5.00 a.m. when the tipper truck, on its way to Akuse, veered off its lane and ran into the Benz bus, killing 12 of the passengers instantly and trapping four others.

They said a combined team of Fire Service, military and police personnel who were alerted got to the scene on time to rescue the survivors.

While some of them expressed shock at the accident, which they attributed to speeding on the part of the truck driver, whose name was only given as Yahaya, others could be seen with disbelief written on their faces.

According to them, the tipper truck was pulled from the Benz bus, after which it was cut from the middle and the top to pull out the dead and the four survivors, two of whom died later.

The Akuse District Police Commander, Mr Emmanuel Bossoh, who was at the scene, together with officials of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), confirmed the casualty list and said the police were still investigating and trying to identify the dead.

As of 11.00 a.m., he said, only five of the deceased had been identified and he gave their names as John Kpodo, the driver of the Benz bus, and Yahaya, the driver of the tipper truck.

The names of the rest were given only as Abdul Saddique, Iddrisu and Georgina.

He said the dead had been sent to the St Martin's Hospital at Agormanya. The Executive Director of the NRSC, Mr Noble Appiah, said looking at the scene, fatigue and tiredness on the part of the truck driver could have been responsible for the accident.

He called on Ghanaians to join the fight against motor traffic accident which was having a toll on the resources of the country, adding that next week a road safety conference would be held in Accra as part of efforts to address accidents on the roads.

He said about 200 participants from other African countries would take part in the conference.

Story by Emmanuel Bonney

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