Accident victims go through ordeal (Front Page)

NINE people, including a 10-month-old baby, who had been critically injured in an accident at Weija in Accra yesterday went through another ordeal when they got to the Accident Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital because the lights were off.

In the midst of the blackout, nurses struggled to save the lives of the victims who had been conveyed there after their Nissan minibus, with registration number GE 9939 W, had crashed into a breakdown tipper truck, with registration number GR 8423 A.

A source at the hospital said the problem with electricity had been recurrent and had endangered the lives of patients. But the Director of General Services of the Hospital, Mr Isaac Owusu Adjakwa, denied the claim.

According to Mr Adjakwa, the problem was a temporary one that was receiving attention.

He said the only times when power supply to the centre had been cut off were for about two hours on Saturday and 30 minutes on Sunday, explaining that they had been due to a problem from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and a routine maintenance by the hospital. 

He stated that a component in a generator that served the centre and other departments had developed a fault and was presently receiving attention.

According to him, even though a back-up generator could have restored power to the centre, a cable that got destroyed during a fire incident last year prevented that.

He was, however, quick to add that his outfit was working on it. 
                                
Speaking to the Daily Graphic on the accident, the New Weija District Commander of Police, ASP Kwame Gyasi Afari, said the incident happened about 5 a.m. yesterday.

According to him, the driver of the minibus, who was coming from Kasoa, ignored signals from the police officers on duty on the road to stop but rather sped past them and ran into the truck.

He said all the injured people, including the driver, were sent to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

He said the truck in question had broken down on Monday afternoon and had been abandoned by the driver without placing the mandatory triangle to warn approaching motorists.

He said the MTTU, noticing the danger the vehicle posed, had placed a warning triangle and several tree branches on the road to warn motorists, while they made efforts to find the appropriate towing car to tow the truck away.

He said all the towing trucks available were either too small to tow the truck or were beyond reach.
According to him, the police maintained their presence on the road throughout the night to avert any disaster but the recalcitrant driver ignored the police signal to stop, leading to the accident.

He cautioned drivers plying the Accra-Kasoa road  against speeding because several lives lost on the road through knock-downs or accidents were the result of speeding.

He also appealed to the city authorities to fix broken down traffic and street lights to enhance visibility for motorists at  night.

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