Tarkwa-Nsuaem accident: Bus overloaded

It has now emerged that the Benz Sprinter bus that was involved in an accident leading to the death of seven pupils at Dompim, on the Tarkwa-Nsuaem highways in the Western Region on Monday was overloaded.

Police sources at Tarkwa revealed to the Ghanaian Times that the bus was carrying about 50 pupils of Learners’ Bridge Academy at the time of the crash.

The source explained that such buses by law (depending on their capacity) are to carry between 27 and 33 passengers.

The Western Regional Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU), Chief Superintendent Richard Appiah, expressed concern about overloading of school pupils in hired or school buses which was becoming a norm in the area.

He described the issue as “very worrying. I have advised proprietors that even though they are in business they must make safety a priority. They need to use good buses to transport pupils”, he added.

He advised drivers to ply the Agona-Nkwanta-Tarkwa highway with caution due to the presence of heavy haulage trucks carting bauxite and manganese and other logistics to mine sites and the Takoradi Harbour.

According to the MTTU Commander some of these heavy trucks sometimes break down becoming death traps on the highway.

He stated a stationery heavy truck caused the death of two persons in the Samreboi area, last week, saying the highway is also narrow.

 

“The road is bad; it is fast deteriorating and becoming dangerous with more potholes. But, we see drivers speeding.”

Monday’s accident, in which seven children died, happened when a bus carrying pupils of Learners Bridge Academy collided with a manganese haulage truck, returning from a mine site near Tarkwa.

The deceased, aged between three and 14 years, are yet to be identified.

Their bodies have been deposited at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital and Tarkwa Hospital mortuaries respectively, awaiting identification and postmortem examination.

Seven others including a teacher who are said to be in critical conditions were taken to the 37 Military and Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospitals, according to emergency officials.

FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, SEKONDI

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