Zion Abdul-Rauf

The area around the Yapei bridge in the Savannah Region has become a death prone area over the past years. Through unavoidable accidents, the area has recorded many lost of lives and property.

Many of the accidents on this particular area mostly end up with Fire outbreaks with the accident vehicles, and majority of these vehicles burn beyond recognition without sparing passengers and other persons in these vehicles. In most cases unfortunately, the personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service arrive late to the scene the salvage the situation due to the distance involved.

On the 18th September 2019, four persons (i.e three males and a female) were burnt to death in a Toyota Matrix vehicle with registration number GE 4126 – 11 which was travelling from Kumasi to the Northern Region. After running into tipper truck which was moving to the opposite direction the, the Toyota pick up caught fire and the unfortunate incident happened.

Just last Saturday the 28th of October 2023, two long vehicles collided head-on on the Yapei bridge and caught fire resulting to death of 3 persons after they were trapped in the burning vehicles.The drivers and an assistant from both vehicles were the ones who were reportedly trapped in the flames.

The nearest Fire Service Station to this accident prone area is the Buipe fire station which is about 60km from Yapei. It has to take personnel from the Buipe fire station about an 1and half hours to drive to this area anytime there is an accident.

Last Saturday’s accident including the 2019 accident saw victims trapped in the burning vehicles gasping and wailing for help and finally had to succumb to death because there was no nearby fire station to come to their rescue.

Several other vehicles including buses and articulated trucks have burnt to ashes on the Yapei-Tamale stretch with many valuable lives being lost as a result of the lack of fire station in the area.

Firefighters use specialized equipments such as the Jaws of Life to extricate trapped victims from vehicles. This equipment is used to cut, spread, and pry open vehicles to free the occupants.

Motor vehicle accidents (MVA) are one of the many types of incidents that firefighters respond to. Firefighters play a critical role in MVAs by providing emergency medical care, extricating trapped victims, and containing any hazardous materials spills.

More than 5 cases involving the burning of vehicles as a result of car crushes are recorded every year which is usually being attended to by personnel from the Buipe Fire Station on the Tamale- Buipe highway.

The Savannah Region has only Six(6) fire service stations with the headquarters situated in Damongo, the regional capital. Out of the six stations, the Daboya substation is the only station without a fire thunder. An additional station situated at Yapei which over the years has recorded most of the deadly cases will be of greater help in terms of saving lives and properties.

The Government of Ghana must as a matter of urgency and need consider putting up a befitting and well resourced fire station at Yapei with well trained fire personnel to help in saving lifes and properties.

30th October, 2023.