Eastern Regional Minister Probes Collapsed Canopy

The Eastern Regional Coordinating Council has inaugurated a five-member Committee of Enquiry to look into the collapsed Bunsu Arboretum Canopy Walkway.

The committee has the Deputy Regional Police Commander, ACP James Abass Abaah, as its chairman and Sarpong Boakye Yiadom of the RCC as secretary.

Other members are the Regional Fire Officer, ACFO P.K. Donkor, Alfred Agyemang of NADMO and Bertha Appeynarh of the Ghana Tourism Board.

About 20 people, mostly students who went on an excursion, sustained various degrees of injury when they fell off the canopy walkway.

The Republic Day holiday victims, mostly identified as JHS graduates from Nkawkaw, who sustained injuries in their necks, hands, waists and legs, were rushed to the Tafo Government Hospital and the Hawa Memorial Hospital at Osiem. Others were taken to the Koforidua Hospital Intensive Care Unit.

Inaugurating the committee, the Regional Minister, Antwi-Boasiako Sekyere, told the members that they were carefully selected based on their expertise and that it was expected of them to complete the task within two weeks.

He outlined their terms of reference as delving into the causes of the fatal accident, ensuring that operations and safety measures are put in place for the facility, making recommendations for the safe use of the facility and any other issues of interest regarding the public use of the facility.

The minister assured the public that the work of the committee would not in any way interfere in the ongoing investigations of the police. This, he said, was to make proper assessment to forestall any future occurrences.

It would be recalled that more than 20 holiday revellers were injured when they fell off the canopy walkway on the Republic Day this year.

The management of the facility gave conflicting accounts that the incident happened because some unauthorised persons sneaked onto the walkway when they had stopped issuing tickets to the people, causing overloading on the bridge.

They also claimed that a branch of a tree fell on the bridge, forcing it to give way.

As a result of this, the minister ordered the closure of the facility for a proper investigation to be conducted; hence the institution of the committee.

The chairman of the committee, ACP James Abass Abaah, was thankful to the RCC for the trust reposed in them and promised that they would do their best for the people of the region and the country as a whole.

He said safety and security measures in tourism facilities should not be taken lightly, noting that what happened that day was a blot on the industry.

He stressed that they would work diligently without prejudice, favour and fear of anything.

From Daniel Bampoe, Koforidua

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