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17.05.2006 General News

Catholic Church Grief-Stricken

By Graphic
Catholic Church Grief-Stricken

The Catholic Church in Kumasi will hold a mass at 7.00 p.m. today for 35 people who perished in a tragic accident at the Akropong Junction on the Kumasi-Sunyani Highway on Monday.

Announcing the programme, the Kumasi Metropolitan Catholic Archdiocese expressed shock at the tragic accident which claimed 35 lives, including 31 of their members from the Abuakwa Parish who were all in a Mercedes Benz 207 bus, while the four other casualties were in the Inter-City STC bus.

It said the fact that the deceased were on their way to attend the funeral of a Revered Father who also died through an accident had come as a surprise to the church.

However, the church said in all that it was God who knew better and, therefore, expressed the hope that the Good Lord would grant the departed souls eternal rest.

The deceased were travelling from Abuakwa, near Kumasi Akwaboa in the Atwima District of Ashanti, to attend a vigil mass and burial ceremony of a Catholic priest when their vehicle collided head on with an STC bus.

The Catholic priest, Rev Fr John Baidoo, also died on the Dunkwa Road through a motor accident a few days ago.
The Auxiliary Bishop of the Kumasi Metropolitan Catholic Archdiocese, the Most Rev Gabriel J. Anokye, who expressed his condolence on behalf of the Catholic Church during an interview with the Daily Graphic, said the death of the members of the Catholic Church in particular and the other two victims in the STC bus was a big blow to the church.

“It is the entire Catholic Church which is bereaved, and on behalf of the Catholic Church and on my own behalf, I express my condolence to the bereaved families, friends and sympathisers,” he said.

He pointed out that initial investigations conducted indicated that the accident occurred because the driver of the 207 bus in which the deceased were travelling and a Tico taxi which caused the accident were overspeeding.

He said the utter disregard for road traffic regulations by drivers had been the major cause of fatal accidents in the country, causing the nation to lose valuable lives, stressing that it was time drivers respected road regulations to bring sanity on the roads.

“Drivers should be extra vigilant on the roads and obey road signs and regulations to reduce the carnage on the roads because many Ghanaians are perishing through motor accidents,” Rt Rev Anokye pleaded.

He said the Catholic Church would hold a mass for all the deceased choristers at Abuakwa at 7.00 p.m. today and invited sympathisers to mourn with the church.

On whether the church would consider building monuments for the deceased, Rt Rev Anokye said it was too early to think about that because the leadership of the Catholic Church was yet to meet to consider it.

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Road Safety Committee has stated that the accident at Akropong Junction could have been avoided if the driver of the 207 Mercedes Benz had exercised a little caution.