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17.05.2006 Disaster

39 Catholic choristers die in an accident


Communities in the Atwima-Nwabiagya District were thrown into a state of mourning and uncontrolled wailing when news of an accident that claimed the lives of 38 choristers of the Abuakwa Parish of the Roman Catholic Church occurred in the early hours of the morning.

The accident occurred at the Akropong junction on the Kumasi/Sunyani road when a 207 Benz bus that was conveying the choristers to attend the burial service of a reverend father of the parish at Akwaboa near Akropong collided with a State Transport bus at about 2215 hours during a rainfall.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Maxwell Osei, the Abuakwa District Police Commander, said the accident occurred when the bus attempted to overtake a Tico taxi and collided with the STC bus.

He said the STC driver died on the spot while several passengers on the bus who sustained injuries had been taken to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

Mr Osei said it took a combined team of police and fire personnel several hours to retrieve the bodies of the dead from the wreckage of the Benz bus that is believed to have lost all its occupants.

Sympathizers and relatives were seen wailing and rushing to the Abuakwa Police Station to ascertain information about their relatives.

Others believed to be members of the Catholic faith had also gathered in front of the Catholic Church at Abuakwa, the headquarters of the parish, to either mourn or pray for the souls of the victims.

The dismembered bodies of the victims, yet to be identified, have been deposited at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital mortuary.