A local governor reports that 53 people are dead and 29 others injured in Dsang, central-western Cameroon, when a bus collided with a fuel van.

Road shows cars and pedestrians walk in Yaounde, Cameroon on January 2, 2021.
Road shows cars and pedestrians walk in Yaounde, Cameroon on January 2, 2021. (AFP)

Fifty-three people have died and 29 people injured with severe burns in Cameroon when a bus collided with a fuel van, causing a blaze that engulfed both vehicles, the local governor said.

The accident occurred early on Wednesday in Santchou village and survivors were rushed to hospitals in the western towns of Dschang and Bafoussam, Awa Fonka Augustine, the governor of the West Region of Cameroon, confirmed.

The 70-seat bus collided head-on with the van at around 3.30am at a location called the Cliff of Dschang, he said.

“A speeding truck illegally transporting fuel ran into the 70-seat bus transporting passengers from the coastal commercial city of Douala to Bafoussam, the capital of Cameroon’s West region,” Augustine said.

The truck driver, however, escaped after the crash and Augustine has called for his arrest.

'Burned beyond recognition'

Hundreds of people are rushing to Santchou to see if their relatives are dead or alive.

“It is impossible to identify any of the corpses I have seen. They are burned beyond recognition,” said 54-year-old businessman Honore Nzali who is searching for his brother.

"The dead have all been burned beyond identification," Augustine, said.

Notorious accident road

The stretch of road is notorious for accidents, with hairpin bends and ravines.

The governor said fog may have been a cause of the accident, and early investigation found that the van had a "brake problem."

The government blames reckless drivers and the poor state of vehicles for the common accidents in Cameroon, while drivers blame the bad conditions of the roads.

At least 37 people, including 10 women and four children, were killed in central Cameroon on December 27 when their bus smashed into a truck and tumbled down a ravine.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies