Senegal declares national mourning after two buses crashed, resulting in 38 deaths

President Macky Sall of Senegal

Two buses crashed in central Senegal early on Sunday, resulting in 38 deaths and around 80 injuries, according to statements from president Macky Sall and local authorities.

The fatal disaster, one of the worst in recent memory for the West African nation, occurred close to the town of Kaffrine, approximately 220 kilometers (137 miles) southeast of the capital Dakar, on a major east-west highway.

Sall declared three days of mourning beginning on Monday and said on Twitter that he was “profoundly saddened” by the event.

According to a statement from the area’s local prosecutor, the accident happened when the tyre of one passenger bus burst, propelling it into the path of another bus going in the other way.

Two white buses with damaged fronts were intertwined in video from the incident that was posted online. There was debris all across the tiny road.

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Road accidents are common in Senegal, where large trucks and buses, often decades old, overburdened and listing, hurtle down two-lane highways pitted and rutted by overuse.

25 people were killed in a collision in 2017 involving two buses, some of whom were traveling to a religious event.