A collision between a truck and a bus in northern Senegal has killed 22 people, firefighters have said, a week after a crash between two buses left 40 people dead.
More than 20 people were injured in the latest accident, which occurred on Monday near Sakal in the Louga region, Papa Ange Michel Diatta, a colonel with the national firefighting service, told AFP. Amadou Ba, the country’s prime minister, visited the site, pledging to enforce new rules of the road.
The bus had a capacity of 32 seats but was carrying 47, Ba told reporters, saying failure to follow the rules increased the number of casualties. In a tweet, Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, said the death toll “highlights the need to strengthen highway safety measures”.
Road accidents are common in Senegal, mainly because of driver error, poor roads and decrepit vehicles, say experts. The government declared three days of mourning after two buses collided in the early morning of 8 January in the central region of Kaffrine, leaving 40 dead and more than 100 injured.
Ministers responded by announcing nearly two dozen measures, including limiting buses and trucks to 90 km/h (56 mph), banning night buses, and outlawing the import of used tyres – the suspected cause of the accident.
But bus companies are fighting back, securing a one-year delay in a proposed ban on placing luggage on roof racks to prevent vehicles from becoming unbalanced.
According to the World Bank, Senegal, a country of 17 million, records 24 road deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants annually. By comparison, the toll is six per 100,000 across the European Union and two in Switzerland, while the average in sub-Saharan Africa is 27.