Ghana waterfall: Up to 20 killed in freak tree accident at popular tourist beauty spot

Francesca Gillett
Beauty spot: The Kintampo waterfalls in Ghana: beketaro/Flickr

Up to 20 people have been killed and many more injured by a fallen tree in a freak accident in Ghana.

Crowds of students and tourists were swimming at the popular Kintampo waterfalls, the highest waterfall in the country, when the accident happened.

It is thought stormy weather caused the tree to fall to the ground.

Police and firefighters fought to rescue those trapped by the tree but 18 students were pronounced dead at the scene and two others died in hospital, emergency officials said.

They added that 11 people were in hospital, including one of the school staff members in charge of the trip, the BBC reported.

Some reports put the number of wounded at more than 20.

According to radio news station Starr News, an eyewitness said: “A huge tree fell at the top when the rains began and crashed the revellers.

“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."

Those who have been injured are being treated at the Kintampo Municipal hospital, the BBC reported.

Ghana’s minister for tourism, Catherine Abelema Afeku, said: "We extend our condolences to the families of the dead and pray for the injured.”

The Kintampo waterfalls are surrounded by woodland and are a popular beauty spot for visitors in the west African country.