At least 40 people were killed and 85 were injured after two buses collided on an arterial road in the Kaffrine region in central Senegal, government officials said on Sunday.
According to Colonel Cheikh Fall, head of operations at the National Fire Brigade, 40 people died in the accident adding that 87 people had been injured in the incident.
He added that the victims were taken to a medical centre in Kaffrine. The wreckage and demolished buses have since been cleared and normal traffic has resumed.
Public prosecutor, Cheikh Dieng, said in a statement that early investigations suggested a public passenger bus suffered a burst tire and swerved off course. It then crashed head-on with another bus coming in the opposite direction.
The bus with a 60-seat capacity was heading to Rosso near the border with Mauritania, however, the actual number of people onboard was unknown.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic road accident. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” President Sall said on Twitter.
Road accidents are common in Senegal, largely because of driver error, poor roads and decrepit vehicles, say experts, but the latest disaster has caused one of the heaviest losses of life from a single incident in recent years.
In October 2020, at least 16 people were killed and 15 more injured when a bus collided with a refrigerated lorry in western Senegal. Local media said the lorry was hauling fish to Dakar.
Meanwhile, 21 people died and 49 others were wounded in a bus accident in Kenya. The bus had just crossed the border from Uganda into Kenya when it crossed. Authorities said that the driver appeared to have lost control and veered off the road.
In Uganda, accidents are registered weekly primarily due to reckless driving and failure to abide by road user rules. Last week on Friday, a total of 16 people were confirmed dead in a fatal accident on Kampala- Gulu highway when a bus rammed into a stationary trailer.
In conclusion, therefore, all road users are encouraged to take caution while using the road so as to minimize the risk of accidents.