DAKAR, Jan 8 (Reuters) – at least 40 people died and about 80 were wounded in central Senegal after two buses collided in the early hours of Sunday, local officials and President Macky Sall said in statements.
The crash, one of the deadliest in the West African country’s recent memory, was on one of the main east-west arteries near the town of Kaffrine, about 220 kilometres (137 miles) southeast of the capital Dakar.
Sall said on Twitter that he was “profoundly saddened” by the accident and announced three days of mourning starting on Monday.
The accident occurred after the tyre of one passenger bus burst, sending it into the path of another bus coming in the opposite direction, a statement from the area’s local prosecutor said.
Footage from the scene shared online showed two white buses, their mangled fronts entwined. Debris was strewn across the narrow road.
Road accidents are common in Senegal, where large trucks and buses, often decades old, overburdened and listing, hurtle down two-lane highways pitted and rutted by overuse.
In 2017, two buses collided, killing 25 people, including some heading to a religious festival.