Cousin of Liverpool star Naby Keita among the dead as nine killed in Guinean football team bus crash - reports
A further 18 people are understood to have been injured — some of them seriously — following the Thursday accident which occurred about 155 miles outside of the Guinean capital of Conakry, as the team traveled to play their first fixture of the season.
According to Italian publication Gazzetto dello Sport, the bus contained 27 passengers: 22 players, four members of the coaching staff and the driver.Also on rt.com In the Red: Analyzing the contrasting fortunes of Manchester United & Liverpool's transfer business
The Ligue Guinéene de Football Professionnel has confirmed the identities of those who died, including Almamy Keita, who is the cousin of Liverpool's 35-cap Guinea international Naby Keita.
The accident was caused by due brake failure in the bus, according to Étoile de Guinée manager d’Abdourahmane Condé.
"We were going downhill when the coach's brakes suddenly gave way," he said.
"There were three corners; the driver somehow managed to negotiate the first two, but there was nothing he could do about the third. He lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into a tree."
Naby Keita posted a tribute to those who were affected by the crash on Instagram, writing that he was "shocked" at the news.
"I am shocked, sad and heartbroken at this terrible news," he wrote.
"My sincere condolences to the #etoiledeguinee team and to Guinean football, may their souls rest in peace."Also on rt.com By the skin of his teeth: Ronaldinho to avoid prosecution despite traveling to Paraguay with false passport
Guinean football authorities have announced that a day of mourning will be held to honor those who lost their lives, while also stating that all teams in the league will play in black armbands at a future date yet to be revealed.
This is the second tragic mishap to strike Guinean football in recent weeks, with the crash following a January 30 incident in which three people were killed when a bus carrying members of top-flight side Wakriya AC was also involved in an accident.