Some journalists covering the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) in Ivory Coast have reportedly sustained injuries after a bus transporting them crashed.
The unfortunate incident is said to have happened in the early hours of Wednesday, January 24, when the journalists were returning from Yamoussoukro to Abidjan after covering Senegal’s final group game against Guinea the night before.
According to a report by The Athletic, the bus carrying media persons was almost at the capital when the accident happened at around 2am local time.
Two journalists sustain serious injuries
Two of the journalists are said to have sustained serious injuries and have since been admitted to the Treichville University Hospital in Abidjan for treatment.
As part of the organisation of the AFCON, CAF and the Local Organising Committee have organised buses that transport journalists to match venues.
The buses also transport the journalists from the match stadiums to vantage points after every game. Reports suggest more than 30 journalists were on the bus that crashed on its way from Yamoussoukro to Abidjan.
Nigerian journalist with Kick442, Seun Oyejidi, took to the microblogging site X (formerly Twitter) to reveal that he was part of the group in the bus but escaped unhurt.
“Thank God for life. Saved from an auto accident with a convoy of journalists returning from Yamussoukro to Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire after covering the Senegal vs Guinea match. The sweat and pain behind the work of a journalist,” he wrote.
Another journalist Pooja wrote on the incident: “Some journalists including Nigerian journalists were involved in an accident coming from Yamoussoukro to Abidjan for a game with the CAF official bus for media but thankful, everyone is okay with some little bruises. These are some of the hazards we face covering International competitions.”
One other journalist Adeniyi Muyiwa, who was also on the bus, wrote on X: “It would have been “RIP Mayor” this morning. After the Angola and Burkina Faso game, on our way back to Abidjan from Yamoussoukro, we had this accident, and I got my left hand twisted.
“I was asleep when everything happened, at about 2:30am. But, I'm back stronger after taken two drips at the hospital (pix can't be posted for a reason). Na to buy drugs wey dem prescribed remain now. Make body fit for the next task ahead. Kojubelo.”
LOC commiserates with injured journalists
Meanwhile, the Local Organising Committee said they are in contact with medical authorities to make sure the injured journalists get the best treatment.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the LOC confirmed that some persons aboard the bus had suffered injuries and expressed its appreciation to the first responders who helped to rescue those trapped after the crash.
“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,” the statement said, as quoted by Pulse Sports Kenya.
“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,”
“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.”
The AFCON 2024 has reached its business end, with the round of 16 fixtures set to begin on Saturday, January 27. Nigeria will face Cameroon in the next round after finishing second in Group A.