Ghana road accident leaves 'at least 53' dead

Accra (AFP) –


At least 53 people died when a passenger bus collided with a truck carrying tomatoes on a Ghana highway, police said Thursday after one of the country's most deadly road disasters.

The head-on collision between the government-operated bus heading to the northern town of Tamale and the cargo truck happened Wednesday evening.

Described as one of the worst crashes the country has seen in years, the bus was reduced to a twisted mess of metal and the road covered in a carpet of crushed red tomatoes.

"The death toll so far has reached 53," regional police spokesman Christopher Tawiah told AFP.

"It was very serious. Many of them were already dead," Tawiah said, describing a grisly scene where police and firemen were forced to saw 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," Tawiah said.

"The rest are still receiving treatment," he said, adding that 23 people are currently receiving treatment in hospital.

The cause of the accident is unknown, but police say both vehicles are suspected of speeding.

Ghana President John Mahama said the accident was "very sad news" and sent "condolences to those who've lost loved ones" in a series of remarks posted on Twitter.