Eight people were killed and 20 injured in a traffic accident on the night of December 14th to 15th, according to the Ministry of Transport (Mintransports). The accident occurred along national road 1, in Moutourwa, 50 km from Maroua, the regional capital of the Far North. Official sources reveal that the accident involved a Touristique Express bus and a Boissons du Cameroun truck. The injured were taken to the Maroua Regional Hospital, we learn.
The Ministry did not provide details regarding the circumstances that resulted in the accident. But, this incident marks at least the third traffic collision involving Touristique Express since the start of the current year. On August 9, 2023, a Touristique Express bus collided with a stationary truck on the cliff at Mbé in the Adamaoua region, resulting in an official death toll of 9, with 42 individuals sustaining injuries. Before that, on May 9, another bus operated by the company was involved in a tragic accident on National Route No. 1, resulting in the death of 15 people.
In both cases, the company was suspended for "serious breaches of road traffic regulations" resulting in loss of life. Touristique Express was subsequently authorized to resume operations, with Minister Jean Ernest Masséna Ngalle Bibehe stating that the company had given assurances that road safety would be respected to avoid further fatal accidents. This latest accident comes as Mintransports has been conducting a nationwide "special campaign to reinforce road safety and prevention measures" since December 12.
Running until January 31, 2024, this operation aims to "minimize road traffic accidents" during the festive season and New Year celebrations marked by heightened mobility of people and goods, and the vacation period for students. In Cameroon, road accidents are both frequent and often tragic. The Ministry of Transport reports an annual average of 1,400 fatalities, while according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number rises to over 6,000. In response to this ongoing challenge, Cameroonian authorities have implemented a series of measures to address the issue of road insecurity and decrease the overall accident rate on the nation's roads.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem