Two buses smashed in a collision killing 40 people and injuring 85 in central Senegal on Sunday.
The incident occurred at 3:30 am on Sunday when the two buses collided head-on on an arterial road in Senegal’s central Kaffrine region in Gnivy village, tweeted President Macky Sall.
Pictures of the accident showed the front end of a white bus severely wrecked, with blood-splattered seats, belongings, and a shoe all over the tree-lined crash site. They also showed damaged buses banged into each other with a string of debris on the path.
According to experts, Senegal is prone to road accidents owing to poor roads, driver error, and decrepit vehicles. However, Sunday’s accident has taken huge lives leaving behind a heavy loss of lives resulting from a single accident in the past few years.
A government announcement declared three days of national mourning starting Monday, wherein flags will be flown at half-mast all across the country during the mourning period.
The announcement also mentioned President Sall’s visit to the accident site just outside of the village of Sikilo. Kaffrine mayor Abdoulaye Saidu Sow said that the President would be joined by the Prime Minister along with several other ministers.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic road accident today in Gniby causing 40 deaths and many serious injuries. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” Sall said.
Sall also said he will conduct an inter-ministerial council to deliberate on road safety measures.
According to public prosecutor Cheikh Dieng, a public bus punctured a tire and drove over the road, crashing into another bus traveling in the other direction. According to him, at least 78 persons had injuries, some of them critical.
The head of operations for the National Fire Brigade, Colonel Cheikh Fall, said that the injured were taken to the hospital in Kaffrine.
According to locals, vehicle crashes occur often in the West African nation due to poor roads, bad cars, and drivers not following the rules.
Opposition politician Ousmane Sonko wrote on Twitter that he would delay a scheduled fundraising program in the backdrop of the accident.
“We bow before the memory of the deceased, offer our very sincere condolences to their grieving loved ones and to all Senegalese, and pray for the merciful rest of their souls as well as a speedy recovery for the injured”, he said.