At least 53 people have been killed in a head-on collision between a bus and a truck in Ghana.

The crash, which reduced the bus to a mangled wreckage, is one of the deadliest road accidents recorded in the West African country.

Police said the government-operated bus was en route to the northern town of Tamale on Wednesday evening when it collided with a truck carrying tomatoes.

The cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed, but police sources said both vehicles were suspected of speeding.

Authorities said rescuers were forced to saw through the wreckage in an attempt to retrieve the bodies.

“It was very serious. Many of them were already dead,” regional police spokesman Christopher Tawiah told news agency AFP.

“We had to use chainsaws to cut through parts of the mangled bus to get bodies and survivors out,” he said.

“The rest are still receiving treatment,” he said, adding that 23 people are currently receiving treatment in hospital.

Ghana’s President John Mahama has tweeted his condolences to relatives of the victims.

“Received the sad news of an accident involving a M.M.T. Bus on the Kintampo- Tamale road. Condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones,” he wrote.