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23.11.2009 Tragedy

Twenty-Two Perish In Accident

By Daily Graphic
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Twenty-two people died on the spot, while 11 others sustained serious injuries, in an accident at Aprokumase on the Akyem Oda-Agona Swedru road last Saturday.

The accident occurred when two passenger buses from opposite directions collided head on at Aprokumase. Seventeen of the deceased, who were on board an Accra-bound KIA Buster bus, with registration number GS 4034-09, got burnt beyond recognition as they were trapped in the vehicle which caught fire immediately after the accident.

The five other deceased persons were on board a Nissan Urvan bus, with registration GE 5866-09, which was heading towards Oda from Nsawam.

Only the driver of the Nissan Urvan bus, Ibrahim Iddrisu (aka 70), 50, has so far been identified among the 22 dead people.

The survivors, comprising five men, five women and a 10-year-old schoolboy, are responding to treatment at the Oda Government Hospital where the bodies of the deceased have also been deposited at the morgue.

Those on admission at the hospital include Francis Awutey, 30, the driver of the KIA Buster bus and the only survivor from that bus; Jennifer Akakpo, 46, from Pokuase; Yaw Otokpa, 25, mate of the Nissan Urvan bus; Joyce Yartey, 26, from Accra; Collins Sakyi, 22; Selina Akomaning, 35, from Nsawam, and Sophia Eshun, 36, from Takoradi but residing in Accra.

The rest are David Boateng, 54; Elizabeth Amissah, 47, Alex Frimpong, the 10-year-old schoolboy, all from Akyem Chia, and a man who is in coma. His identity is yet to be known.

According to Awutey, he lost control of his vehicle after one front tyre got burst, a situation which forced the vehicle to veer off its lane to collide head on with the other vehicle.

He said soon after he had removed his seat belt and escaped, the vehicle caught fire, trapping the passengers. People at Aprokumase who spoke to the Daily Graphic said it took them more than one and a half hours to put out the fire using sand and water because Fire Service men from Oda who were called in did not have a fire tender.

The Medical Superintendent of the Oda Government Hospital, Dr Kobena Awotwe Wiredu, said around 4:30 p.m. last Saturday, two men who had just returned from Accra reported to him at the hospital that a fatal accident involving two vehicles had occurred at Aprokumase.

He said he immediately despatched the driver of the hospital ambulance to the scene to convey the survivors to the hospital.

He said the ambulance driver returned to the hospital after 7 p.m. with 22 dead bodies.

He said before then, some private vehicles had sent the 11 survivors to the hospital after they had received first aid at the Akyem Akroso Health Centre.

Dr Wiredu said after initial examination and treatment, those victims whose conditions were critical were referred to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for further attention.

He said some of the dead bodies would also be sent to the Police Hospital mortuary in Accra, since the mortuary at the Oda Hospital was too small to contain them.

He appealed to people whose relatives travelled from Oda to Agona Swedru and Accra, as well as from Nsawam to Oda, last Saturday to contact the authorities at the Oda Government Hospital to identify the survivors of the accident.

When the Oda Divisional Police Commander, Superintendent Wisdom Akorli, was contacted, he said the police were conducting investigations into the accident.

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akyem Oda, Mr Yaw Owusu Boateng, the District Chief Executive for Birim South, Nana Baffour Mensah Takyi, and the District Co-ordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Mr Yaw Awuku Frimpong, have visited the accident scene and the survivors at the Oda Government Hospital.

They expressed their condolences to the bereaved families and wished the survivors speedy recovery.

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