Not less than 10 people have died after an Allied Air cargo plane skidded off the runway at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra Saturday evening and ran into a 207 Benz bus on a nearby road and shredded it and its passengers into pieces.
The plane crashed through metal railings and a concrete wall at the airport before sweeping the commercial bus off the 37 Military Hospital – Burma Camp road at the El Wak Stadium and ended up at the Hajj Village.
Officials put the deaths at 10 but eyewitnesses say no one on the 23-seater bus travelling from the Spintex Road to Burma Camp survived. Occupants of a taxi escaped death narrowly as the wing of the out of control 5N-BJN flight whipped it off the road and dragged it along its way for some distance.
The pilot and crew also survived the crash and were taken to the 37 Military Hospital for care.
The disaster has seen the temporary closure of the busy road as joint operations by several security agencies including the Police, Military, Fire Service, FBI and the National Disaster Management Organisation sweep off dismembered human parts and to secure the immediate environs of the crash.
It has been raining all evening in Accra where a passenger aboard a Turkish Airline that landed shortly before the ill-fated Allied Air cargo plane told Myjoyonline.com they had an unpleasant landing as the pilot struggled to bring the plane to a stop as a result of the runway rendered slippery by the rains.
Defence Minister, Lt. General Joseph Henry Smith; National Security Coordinator, Col (rtd.) Larry Gbevlo-Lartey; Deputy Health Minister, Rojo Mettle Nunoo; National Co-ordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation, Mr. Kofi Portuphy and Accra Metropolitan Assembly Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Alfred Nii Okoe Vanderpuije were all at the scene of the disaster and were being briefed at the time of filing this report.
An Operations Emergency Centre was to brief the media later.