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Road crash in Senegal kills 19

Nineteen people were killed on Monday when a bus and a truck collided in northern Senegal, firefighters said, eight days after a smashup between two buses left 40 dead.

A general view of an accident scene near Sakal, northern Senegal, on January 16, 2023 where nineteen people were killed when a bus and a truck collided. (Photo by Ousseynou Diop / AFP)

Nineteen people were killed on Monday when a bus and a truck collided in northern Senegal, firefighters said, eight days after a smashup between two buses left 40 dead.

Twenty-five people were injured in Monday’s accident, which occurred near Sakal in the Louga region, Papa Ange Michel Diatta, a colonel with the national firefighting service, told AFP.

In a tweet, President Macky Sall said, “Another deadly accident on our roads… 19 human lives lost.”

The toll “highlights the need to strengthen highway safety measures,” he said.

Road accidents are common in Senegal, mainly because of driver error, poor roads and decrepit vehicles, say experts.

Senegal was plunged into three days of mourning after two buses collided in the early morning of January 8 in the central region of Kaffrine, leaving 40 dead and more than 100 injured.

The government responded by announcing nearly two dozen measures, including limiting buses and trucks to 90 kilometres per hour (56 mph), banning night buses and outlawing the import of used tyres the suspected cause of the accident.

But bus companies are fighting back, securing a one-year delay in a proposed ban on placing luggage on roof racks to prevent vehicles from becoming imbalanced.

A witness interviewed by RFM radio said that in the latest accident, the bus driver had tried to dodge a donkey that was on the road.

According to the World Bank, Senegal, a country of 17 million, records 24 road deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants annually.

By comparison, the toll is six per 100,000 across the European Union and two in Switzerland, while the average across sub-Saharan Africa is 27.