A fatal accident between a bus and a tomato truck in Ghana has been called one of the country's deadliest road disasters. Witnesses have said that speeding and unsafe driving might have led to the crash.
A head-on collision between a bus and a truck carrying tomatoes claimed the lives of more than 60 people and left dozens more injured, reported police in Ghana on Thursday.
"The latest and the final report is that 61 dead and then 25 are in critical condition," said Christopher Tawiah, a regional police spokesman.
"It was very serious. Many of them were already dead," Tawiah said, describing the gruesome crash scene where police and firemen were forced to cut through the wreckage to pull out survivors.
"We had to use chainsaws to cut through parts of the mangled bus to get bodies and survivors out," he said, adding that both drivers died in the crash. The bus had been en route to the northern town of Tamale.
Following the crash, which took place on Wednesday night, the government-operated bus was reduced to a twisted tangle of metal, with the road covered in crushed red tomatoes.
"There were human bodies strewn around," George Blah, a local resident, told Reuters.
"We are working hard to save ... the injured," Bismark Owusu Fosu, a medical director at the Kintampo Government Hospital, told news agency dpa. "Some of the badly injured have been airlifted to the regional hospitals."
Ghanaian President John Mahama conveyed his condolences on Twitter.
A witness said the bus tried to overtake a vehicle at a sharp bend in the road when it collided with the truck, Tawiah reported. Investigators also believe that speed may have been a factor in the deadly crash.
The state-owned Metro Mass Transit (MMT) company, which owned the bus, said it was waiting for the outcome of the police investigation to determine the actual cause.
rs/cmk (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)