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A statement read on television confirmed six of the African country's players have died, while 28 others have suffered critical injuries, after the bus carrying them caught fire

The Togolese government says at least six of its football players have been killed after a team bus caught fire and plunged into a ravine.

The accident had occurred on Saturday near the city of Atakpame, about 99 miles north of Lome, as club side Etoile Filante were on their way to Sokode for a league game against Semassi scheduled for Sunday.

According to the government's account, revealed on national television, a tire is believed to have burst, which in turn caused the bus to flip over and fall down a ravine.

In addition, they have claimed that Togo president Faure Gnassingbe ordered the victims to be taken to a military hospital in the capital city of Lome.

As well as the six players who have died, 28 other personnel have been critically injured. However, the identities of the victims are currently unknown.

The incident comes just under two years after Togo's national team bus had been the recipient of a terrorist attack en route to the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, which saw the driver and one other staff member killed. The team’s goalkeeper Kdjovi Obilale took a career-ending shot to his body.

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