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10.11.2008 Tragedy

Horror! 22 Die in Techiman Accident

By The Statesman

Twenty souls perished on the spot and four others suffered various degrees of injuries in the Saturday late afternoon fatal clash at Techiman involving a Kia Truck loaded with sawn wood (board) and a 207 Benz Bus full of mourners, police and hospital officials have confirmed.

 The driver of the Kia Truck identified as Yakubu Awutoma, 25, and two others on board, all died including 17 others in the 207 Bus. The dead included 9 men and 11 women.

The four survivors, mainly women, were identified as Mary Pokua, Yaa Gyabea, Hawa Dekyi and Grace Pokua.

A medical officer at the Techiman Holy Family Hospital, Dr Ernest Ameyaw, who confirmed the casualties to The Statesman , said the survivors, who suffered minor fractures, were responding to treatment as at the time of filing this report.

He said the victims were brought to the hospital around 6.30pm. Our checks indicated that one of the survivors, Hawa Dekyi, was later in the night sent to the theatre due to internal bleeding.

Meanwhile, the Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council Sunday morning held an emergency meeting about matters regarding to the accident.

Our sources close to the REGSEC indicated that a high-powered delegation led by the Deputy Regional Minister, Abraham Kwadwo Kwakye and some top officials from the Ministry of Defence paid an official visit to the Holy Family Hospital yesterday to sympathize with the survivors and ascertain the cause of the accident which has been blamed on the action of the military.

 The accident, described as one of the horrible in recent times, occurred on the Tachiman-Sunyani Highway around 5.00 pm Saturday where a Kia Truck loaded with wood clashed into an on-coming 207 Bus on route to Sunyani.

Eye witnesses told this reporter that the driver of the Kia Truck with registration number AS1627V heading towards Tachiman was being chased by the military task force for an offence which could not be ascertain, was driving at a top speed.

And at Twemea Nkwanta, close to Tachiman, one of the soldiers riding in a white Nissan Pick-Up shot into the tyres of the truck.

This, they said, caused the driver to loose control of the car and apparently clashed into on-coming Benz bus moving to Sunyani.

 According to the report, after shooting the truck and saw the mess they have caused, the military quickly reversed and geared off.

Adams Bashiru, a resident of Twemea Nkwanta, where the accident occurred, told this paper that the victims were removed from the two cars which were damaged beyond repairs but were later joined by the personnel of the Ghana Fire Service who helped in chiseling to remove some of the victims trapped in the cars.

He said the police who later came to the scene were nearly lynched by the crowd who were furious by the action of the military whom they blamed for causing the accident.

Andy Nyarko Christopher confirmed to The Statesman that the victims onboard the 207 Bus were all natives of Nkoranza and its environs but resident in Sunyani who were returning from a colleague funeral at a town near Nkoranza.

But, on their return to Sunyani after the funeral, they met their untimely death.