Fatal team bus crash in Ghana

A picture taken on July 12, 2017 shows Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club’s players vying for the ball with players of Inter Allies Football Club during a local league match at the El Wak stadium in Accra. One person was killed and dozens more injured when a bus conveying Ghana’s Asante Kotoko football team rammed into a stationary truck after a match, police said on July 13. The Premier League side was heading back to the central city of Kumasi after a 1-0 defeat to Inter Allies in the capital. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

The British manager of Ghana Premier League side Asante Kotoko and one of his players were hospitalised after a bus crash that killed a member of their back-room staff, the club said on Thursday.

The crash happened when the team bus rammed into a stationary truck at Nkawkaw, some 150 kilometres (95 miles) by road from Accra, at about 10:00 pm (2200 GMT) on Wednesday.

Asante Kotoko were heading back to the central city of Kumasi after a 1-0 defeat to Inter Allies in the capital.

“The driver of the bus ran into the truck that was loaded with fertiliser and almost all the 37 passengers sustained various degrees of injuries,” said Eastern region police spokesman Thomas Obeng Asare.

“They were rushed to the Holy Family hospital at Nkawkaw where some were treated and they have since been referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (in Kumasi),” he added.

The head of the medical team at Asante Kotoko, Michael Leat, said players and officials who sustained minor injuries were all treated and discharged.

“We regret to announce that our deputy equipment officer, Kofi Asare, could not make it. Management has met his family to brief them of the sad event,” he said on the club’s website.

“Meanwhile, head coach Steven Polack, midfielder Ollennu Ashitey, and the bus driver, Nana Berkye, are on admission receiving treatment.”

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said he was “saddened” by the incident. “My heart goes out to the team; speedy recovery to the injured,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) said it was “devastated by the sad development” and had sent a delegation to meet the club and offer its support.

“The GFA has established contact with the club and our thoughts and prayers are with Kumasi Asante Kotoko, particularly the injured officials and players,” it added.

Asante Kotoko are due to play Accra Hearts of Oak in Kumasi on Sunday but there was no immediate word on whether the match would still go ahead.

Leat said players discharged from hospital would undergo a further medical examination on Saturday.

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