At least 20 people have died and many others injured after trees fell on them while they were swimming at popular waterfall spot in Kintampo, Ghana, emergency officials said on Sunday.
They were swimming during a storm when the unusual accident happened.
Ghana National Fire Service spokesperson Prince Billy Anaglate told AFP that a brewing storm caused trees to topple and fall on the teenagers while they were in the water at the Kintampo waterfalls in the Brong-Ahafo region.
“They were swimming in the river when there was a storm, a windy atmosphere that had uprooted some of the trees and they had fallen on some of them – those who were apparently swimming,” he said.
A combined team of police and fire service personnel attended the accident site, in a bid to rescue those trapped by the tree.
“A huge tree fell at the top when the rains began and crashed the revellers,” an eyewitness told Ghana’s Starr News.
“Most of them are students of the Wenchi Senior High School. Others are tourists. We are trying to save those who are trapped by cutting the trees with chainsaws.”
Mr Anaglate also said that 18 students had died at the scene, while two others died in hospital. 11 people were receiving treatment, including one of the school administrators in charge of the trip.
“We extend our condolences to the families of the dead and pray for the injured,” said the country’s tourism minister Catherine Abelema Afeku in a statement.