Monday, 20 March 2017

Twenty teenagers die in Ghana waterfall accident

High school students killed by falling trees while swimming at popular tourist spot during a storm, according to officials

Twenty students in Ghana have died in a freak accident after trees fell while they were swimming at a popular tourist beauty spot, emergency officials said.
Waterfalls in the Volta region of Ghana. A storm caused trees to topple and fall on the teenagers.

Ghana national fire service spokesman Prince Billy Anaglate said the “unusual incident” happened on Sunday afternoon, when a group of high school students were swimming at the Kintampo waterfalls, the highest waterfall in the country, in the Brong-Ahafo region.

Anaglate said that a storm caused trees to topple and fall on the teenagers while they were in the water.

“They were swimming in the river when there was a storm, a windy atmosphere that had uprooted some of the trees, and they had fallen on some of them – those who were apparently swimming,” Anaglate said.

Eighteen students died at the scene while two others died in hospital, Anaglate said, adding that 11 more were receiving treatment for injuries, including one of the school administrators in charge of the trip.

A witness told Ghana’s Starr News radio: “A huge tree fell at the top when the rains began and crashed the revellers. Most of them are students of the Wenchi senior high school. Others are tourists. We are trying to save those who are trapped by cutting the trees with chainsaws.”

The country’s tourism minister, Catherine Abelema Afeku, said in a statement: “We extend our condolences to the families of the dead and pray for the injured.”

The Kintampo waterfalls are surrounded by woodland and are located on the Pumpum river, a tributary of the Black Volta.


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