TRAGEDY hit Ashayum (New Techiman) on the Techiman-Kumasi trunk road yesterday, when 22 people were burnt to death as they were siphoning petrol from a tanker that had overtured after going into a ditch.
Seven others sustained high degree of burns and are on admission at the Techiman Holy Family Hospital. Also on admission are two people with less serious burns.
Among the dead was a soldier, who on chancing upon the free-for-all -petrol incident, also joined.Sources at the District Asembly said there will be a mas burial of some of the deceased in view of their conditions. This follows advice from the health oficials.
Patrick Fordjour Dankwah, an eyewitness and assemblyman of the Tanoso Electoral Area, said the incident involving the petrol tanker, with registration number GR 5157 Y, at about 7.30 pm, was the third time at in that same vicinity in the last two years.
According to him, in the previous instance in December 2006 and March 2007, people succeeded in siphoning the spilled fuel without any casualties.
Dankwah narrated that the accident was the result of the driver losing control of the steering wheel.
He said when the tanker overturned, residents of both Tanoso and Ashayum rushed out of their homes with containers and started scooping the spilt petrol from the ground.