President of Senegal, Macky Sall told the reporters on Sunday that 40 people were killed and dozens were injured when two buses collided head-on overnight on a major route in the region of central Kaffrine district, Senegal. The president added his condolences to the families of the dead and wished the injured people a sudden recovery.
According to Cheikh Doing, the country’s public prosecutor, the bus crash was due to a punctured tire in one of the buses. The puncture caused the bus to spin out of control over Senegal’s National Road No. 1 and to collide with another bus traveling the other way.
The images from the accident scene showed a white bus with its front completely destroyed, along with blood-spattered seats. The personal belongings and shoes of the passengers on the bus can be seen in the images.
According to Macky Sall, the incident occurred at 3:30 a.m. in the area of Gniby village in the Kaffrine region.
The Senegalese government has declared national mourning for three days beginning on Monday. The President had announced that the Prime Minister would call for a council the next day, which would include representatives of transporters, drivers, insurers, and security services. He promised that they would look into the preventive measures that should be taken to put an end to such tragic accidents.
Even though road accidents are common in Senegal, this incident is one of the greatest accidents that Senegal has witnessed in many years and has claimed too many lives in one single accident.
The major reasons for the increase in accidents in Senegal are supposed to be the poor roads, driver’s faults, and running down vehicles.
The bodies of the dead were taken into the morgue in Kaolack, a city that was 65 km away from the area of the incident. Many ministers, including Health Minister Marie Kermesse Ngom, Minister of Land Transport, Mansour Faye, and Minister of Equity and National Solidarity, Samba Ndiobene Ka, visited the injured and Kaolack on Sunday.
Amadou Mame Diop, the president of the National Assembly, appreciated the speedy help of the emergency services and stated that the grief of the whole Senegalese people will be shared by him and other Members of Parliament.
On Sunday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France shared her grief and condolences with the Senegalese people.
In 2017, 25 passengers died in a bus crash as well. They were traveling on a Muslim pilgrimage to the central town of Touba. At least 16 people were killed and another 15 were injured when a bus and a refrigerated truck crashed in Western Senegal in October 2020.
These accidents mark the evidence of recurring accidents in African Nations due to poor roads and driver error. The accident that occurred on Sunday is the most tragic of the accidents that Senegal has witnessed so far in a decade.
On the same day of the bus crash in Senegal, a bus heading to Nairobi crashed after crossing the Uganda-Kenya border. The accident caused the deaths of about 21 people and injured 49 others. According to the reports, the crash happened because the driver lost control, which led the vehicle to veer off the road.