Personnel from the Ghana Fire Service in a rescue mission and some of the recovered bodies
Twenty students were killed yesterday when a huge tree fell on them at the Kintampo Waterfall in the Brong-Ahafo Region as they swam at the location, with about 30 others injured in the bizarre afternoon tragedy.
A heavy storm was said to have uprooted a huge tree on top of the waterfall which came crashing down, landing on tourists, including the students.
According to the District Fire Commander, ADO1 Adu Kumi, doubling also as the Acting Municipal Fire Service Commander for Kintampo who spoke to DAILY GUIDE from the town, the accident occurred at about 3.30 pm.
He said his station was alerted about the accident and they quickly responded. “When we reached the place we saw the tree on the students. We learnt that they are students of the Wenchi Senior High School who were on excursion of various places,” he asserted.
According to him, the excursion commenced with a trip to the Bole National Park from where they proceeded to the famous Paga Crocodile Pond. After their sightseeing activities at the two places, the students came to the Kintampo Waterfall where they met their fate.
At about 3.30 pm, the Acting Municipal Fire Service Commander for Kintampo said as the students were swimming in the water body there was a massive windstorm which uprooted one of the huge trees at the site.
“The tree fell on the students as they swam, we were told, when we got to the waterfall” he said.
Continuing he said, “We cannot confirm deaths but the number of students who died stood at 20 at the time the tree fell on them.”
Giving the gender of the deceased, he said, “Six of the dead were females and 14 males. Of the eleven injured, nine are males and two females.”
The mortal remains of the dead have been transferred to the Kintampo Hospital for preservation and autopsy as the injured are being managed at the same facility.
The Kintampo Waterfall is an important tourist attraction in a town, regarded as equidistant from Accra and the uppermost part of the country, and is visited by many tourists throughout the year.
The Waterfall is located on the Pumpum River, a tributary of the Black Volta, about 4 kilometres north of the Kintampo municipality, along the Kumasi-Tamale road.
By A.R. Gomda