More than 75 persons, mostly schoolchildren collapsed in Tema in the Greater Accra and Techiman in the Bono East regions while on parade to mark the 63rd Independence Day anniversary.
Tema recorded the highest casualty with over 60 pupils from the various basic schools collapsing even before the commencement of the march past of the maiden Greater Accra Regional Independence Day celebration held at the Tema Stadium.
In Techiman, over 15 persons, including some students, a police officer, an Immigration and fire service officers, also collapsed during the independence day parade.
Benjamin Xornam Glover reports from Tema that some of the pupils, who arrived at the parade grounds as early as 7 a.m without taking their breakfast, were carried off the parade ground to the national ambulance post for first aid treatment. It was unclear if they recovered in time to rejoin their colleagues for the march past.
Unlike the previous year where the regional capital did not host a regional independence day parade because the national one was held in Tamale, this year, the Regional Coordinating Council organised a parade in Tema for security personnel and selected schools.
On parade were contingents comprising the Army, Navy, Police, Customs Division, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, NADMO, Metro Guards of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly and 1,600 teachers and schoolchildren selected from public and private basic schools, first and second cycle schools in the Tema Metropolis dressed in their uniforms.
The parade, commanded by Lt. Commander S.Y Adjei-Djan from the Eastern Naval Command witnessed the Ghana National Fire Service Regimental Band providing marshall music to support the smart march of the security services and schoolchildren who marched to the admiration of the spectators.