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Tree falls at Ghana’s popular waterfall killing 18

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Some 20 more people were injured and rushed to hospital, according to reliable sources. 

The huge tree came crashing down on students while they were swimming at the base of the waterfall.

By Sam O. Abuya

At least 18 people, mostly students, have been confirmed dead after a tree fell on them at a popular swimming pool at the foot of famous waterfall in Ghana, authorities indicate.

The waterfall which is not far from Kintampo, a local town in the area, is frequented by visitors especially over the weekend, a majority of them being high school students who go out to enjoy themselves.

A map showing the Kintampo town near waterfall is near. 

According to Desmond Owusu Boampong, a local police commander, who spoke to Reuters news agency, 20 more people were taken to a nearby hospital where they were attended to. Another senior police officer told news agencies that a further 22 people were injured by the tree fall.

The upper part of a big tree by the waterfall came crashing down on the victims creating a horrific scene in an otherwise serene area forcing those present to scream as they scampered for safety, according to Kwaku Boateng, a local fireman. He said his men swung into action to rescue the victims of the accidents using chainsaws and some other tools with others diving into the waterfall.

The public helped in trying to rescue those trapped.

Photos carried in local media showed broken branches of a big tree lying at the base of the famous waterfall. Others pictures showed bodies of the victims on the ground with some in pick-up trucks.

The accident happened in one of Ghana’s areas that are known to experience heavy downpour during this time of the year.

While going to the scene to meet family and friends of those affected, Catherine Afeku, Ghana’s Tourism Minister, said investigations will be carried out to know what exactly happened.

By the time of going to press, Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo had already sent his condolences through his official Twitter account.

 

 

 

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