Parents and relatives of the six children who died in the Dompim Tarkwa accident which has so far claimed eight lives are blaming the crash on the school’s rickety school bus.
They also say the bus is often overloaded with more children on each trip.
Eight persons; Six children and two teachers of the Learners Bridge Academy at Dompim in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality of the Western Region were killed in a head-on collision on Monday, September 17, when they were returning from school from Dompim to Ahwetieso.
In less than a kilometer after the bus had joined the main Tarkwa-Agona Nkwanta highway, the 44-year-old Clement Oduro who was in charge of the steering wheel reportedly lost control of the vehicle and crashed the bus into a tipper truck, killing four instantly. Four later died at different hospitals.
Speaking to Citi News, some families at Ahwetieso where the majority of the deceased children came from insisted that the school’s bus was unfit for purpose.
An Uncle of Precious, a 7-year-old pupil, Peter Donkor, said “just look at the bus you saw by the roadside. Do you think this is a bus fit to convey the children? And by the way, why are they lying about the number of children who were on the bus? It is the second day since the incident happened, if they know all the persons in the car, why hasn’t anybody from the school or government even visited the family of Precious?”
“We were told some delegation went round. Did they know our 7-year-old Precious was also killed? The students on the bus were more than 50. So why are they lying about the numbers? So they can cover up the overloading?”
A visit to the Learners Bridge Academy showed the school had been closed down while some families and loved ones were sympathizing with the director of the school at his house.
At the accident scene, the wind was flipping through the pages of some of some exercise and textbooks left.
Sandals and shoes of children as well as pencils were other remnants lying by the yet to be towed mangled bus.
The Ahwetieso community has been thrown into a state mourning as the majority of the school children were from the town.
The mother of Precious who could not stop crying said she needed answers.
“Why will she leave us at this young age? I thought she was a gift sent from God. What could she have done possibly wrong? What were her sins? I need answers, I need help!” she wept.
While some families are yet to come to terms with the passing of these little ones, others could not understand why members of the school’s management board will not pay a visit to the bereaved families two days after the incident.