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At Least 39 Killed, over 100 Injured in Deadly Senegal Bus Accident

President Macky Sall told reporters Sunday that 39 people were killed and more than 100 were injured when two buses collided head-on on an artery road in Senegal’s central Kaffrine district overnight. Images from the disaster showed the front end of a white bus badly wrecked, with blood-flecked seats, personal goods, and a shoe strewn about the tree-lined crash site.

According to experts, road accidents are regular in Senegal, owing mostly to driver mistakes, inadequate roads, and aging vehicles, but the latest calamity has resulted in one of the highest losses of life from a single occurrence in recent years.

In a press conference, Sall amended an earlier official statement that had put the death toll at 40, blaming a mortuary discount. He made the remarks after visiting the disaster site, which was located on the No. 1 national highway just outside the village of Sikilo, and chatting with some of the injured at the regional hospital in the nearby town of Kaffrine.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of 39 people in this road tragedy near Kaffrine.” “Sall stated. “We have lost many young people in this disaster, and the Prime Minister will hold an interministerial meeting tomorrow that will include representatives from the transportation industry — transporters, drivers, insurance, and security agencies — to discuss the next steps.” “He went on to say.

The government has declared three days of national mourning, beginning Monday, with flags flying at half-staff across the country. According to Kaffrine mayor Abdoulaye Saydou Sow, who is also the Minister of Urbanism, the accident occurred between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. (GMT and local) Sunday and was caused by a ruptured tire.

He claimed that the Kaffrine mortuary was “filled.” “and that the dead were being transported to a mortuary in Kaolack, a city 40 miles (65 kilometers) distant. Cheikh Dieng, the public prosecutor, earlier stated in a statement that preliminary investigations indicated that a public passenger bus experienced a ruptured tire and went off course.

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On Sunday, Sow and several other ministers visited the injured in Kaffrine and Kaolack. The team included Mansour Faye, Minister of Land Transport, Marie Kermesse Ngom, Minister of Health, and Samba Ndiobene Ka, Minister of Territorial Equity and National Solidarity, he said.

The president of the National Assembly, Amadou Mame Diop, said in a statement that he “and all the Members of Parliament share the anguish of the entire Senegalese people” and applauded “the swift response of the emergency services”.

In light of the catastrophe, opposition lawmaker Ousmane Sonko stated on Twitter that he would postpone a planned fundraiser event. “We kneel before the memory of the deceased, extend our heartfelt sympathies to their bereaved loved ones and all Senegalese, and pray for the merciful repose of their souls as well as the fast healing of the injured.” “, he explained.

France’s Foreign Minister sent her condolences to her Senegalese counterpart on Sunday, according to a French official statement. When a bus collided with a refrigerated vehicle in western Senegal in October 2020, at least 16 persons were murdered and 15 more were injured.

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