Journalists survive harrowing bus crash en route from Yamoussoukro to Abidjan during AFCON 2023 coverage.
Dozens of journalists narrowly escaped death in a harrowing bus accident while covering the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Wednesday near Abidjan, leaving the media fraternity shaken but grateful.
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More than 30 journalists were aboard the bus, returning from Yamoussoukro where they had covered the final group stage matches featuring Senegal vs Guinea and Angola vs Burkina Faso.
The bus, mere minutes from its destination at the AFCON Main Media Centre in Abidjan, veered off the road around 4:30 am East Africa Time, colliding with concrete barriers in a frightening turn of events.
In a desperate bid for safety, journalists, showcasing a survival instinct akin to their professional tenacity, leaped out through windows.
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Injuries ranged from minor fractures and cuts to more serious conditions.
Seun Oyejidi, a Nigerian journalist with Kick442, captured the ordeal in a poignant social media post:
"Thank God for life. Saved from an auto accident with a convoy of journalists returning from Yamussoukro to Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire after covering Senegal vs Guinea match. The sweat and pain behind the work of a journalist." he
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Emergency responders were on the scene promptly, rushing the injured to the University Centre Hospital in Treichville and another facility in Abidjan.
CAF officials and volunteer doctors were present at the hospitals, providing support and assessing the situation.
A statement from the Local Organizing Committee (COCAN) captured the gravity of the incident: "We regret to inform that the convoy of journalists covering AFCON 2023 was involved in a tragic bus accident during the return from Yamoussoukro to Abidjan around 2 a.m. Fortunately, most of those on board suffered minor injuries."
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"The injured were urgently transported to the University Hospital Center (CHU) in Treichville to receive the necessary care. We are in close contact with the medical authorities to ensure appropriate monitoring of their state of health,” the statement added.
COCAN's message concluded with a note of solidarity and gratitude: “Our thoughts are with the injured and their families during this difficult time. We would like to express our gratitude to the rescuers and medical teams who are currently working on the scene and at the Treichville University Hospital. We continue to provide regular updates as the situation evolves. The safety and well-being of our fellow journalists remain our priority.”