Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Highway slaughter in Kumasi, as 35 perish in motor accident

IN what could best pass as a national tragedy, thirty-four souls perished last Monday night in the worst accident in the Ashanti Region in recent times when an Inter City STC Bus collided head-on with a Mercedez 207 passenger bus at the Akropong Junction on the Kumasi-Sunyani road.
It was a Black Monday night for the Catholic Church in general and the Abuakwa Parish in particular as all but three of the dead, were members of the Parish.
The church members most of whom were choristers were on their way to attend the funeral of their deceased Reverend Father of the Parish at Akwaboa, some five kilometers away when they met their tragic death.
The remaining three included the drivers of the two vehicles, and an officer of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) who was on board the STC bus.
This morning, the scene at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital where the bodies were sent, was shocking and pathetic.
Relatives, church members and friends tried to identify the bodies of their departed ones as the bodies were lined up at the mortuary.
Some of the bodies were badly mutilated, and the scene sent people wailing uncontrollably.
The Accra-bound Inter-City STC bus with registration number … was said to be traveling from Burkina Faso.
The Akropong junction accident was a near carbon copy of what took place at Santasi last year when 17 members of the Deeper Life Bible Ministry on board a similar 207 bus returning from a funeral lost their lives.
Monday’s accident was said to have occurred a few minutes after 10pm when the driver of the 207 bus, attempted to overtake a Tico taxicab.
Eyewitnesses said the 207 driver lost control and went into a head-on collision with the oncoming Inter-City STC bus.
The STC bus dragged the 207 bus along for some distance killing all on board.
Some of the church members told the Graphic that the Abuakwa Parish of the Catholic Church selected the choir members from various societies within the Parish and that the vehicle moved from society to society to pick them for the wake-keeping.
Police sources said they suspected the 207 bus was overloaded.
Fire Service personnel who responded quickly to the accident spent the whole night trying to cut through the wreckage to remove both the dead and injured persons.
The driver of the STC bus for instance was found dead with the head handing downwards in the bus when the bus was cut open, according to eyewitnesses.
The number of injured persons who were rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) could not readily be ascertained as hospital staff were busy trying to save lives.
The badly mutilated bodies of the deceased, 17 males and 17 females have since been deposited at KATH morgue for autopsy.
Those identified included the driver of the 207 bus, Kwame Acheampong.
Others were Georgina Tiwaa, John Baptish Amosi, Kwadwo Asiedu, Vice Chairman of the Tanoso Union Choir, Cecilia Nyamekye from Tanoso, Eric Boakye, Lawrence Addai Munumkum, a catechist of the Abuakwa Parish, Sister Agyeiwaa, Mary Mensah from Apatrapa, John Mensah, Sepaase Choir master, Sister Alice and Bernard Mensah.
When the Graphic visited the KATH morgue this morning (Tuesday), it was a horrific scene as a large crowd had besieged the morgue’s premises trying to help identify the deceased.
The Member of Parliament for Atwima Nwabiagya, Mr Benito Bioh within whose constituency the accident occurred was at the morgue to show concern for the lost souls and the bereaved families.
The Police were yet to officially comment on the accident.