UAE | Emergencies

Al Ain bus crash leaves 24 dead

Most workers killed are from Bangladesh as death toll rises to 24

  • By Aftab Kazmi, Bureau Chief, Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 14:28 February 4, 2013

  • Image Credit: Courtesy Al-Ain Police Public Relations office
  • Rescue operations under way at the accident spot, 35km from downtown Al Ain, on Monday.
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6.30pm: 16 Bangladeshis among those killed

The Bangladeshi embassy has confirmed that 16 Bangladeshis were among those killed in Al Ain crash. One Indian is also among those killed, according to officials at the Al Ain Hospital morgue, while five bodies are yet to be identified.

6.05pm: Asian embassies rush officials to Al Ain

The embassies of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan in Abu Dhabi have not yet received any confirmation about the number of deaths of their nationals in the horrific accident in Al Ain, the ambassadors told Gulf News.

Contrary to reports in some sections of the media, the Indian Embassy has not received any confirmation about the number of deaths of Indian workers so far, M.K. Lokesh, Indian Ambassador, said. He said a team of officials of the community welfare wing of the Indian embassy has rushed to Al Ain.

The Bangladeshi embassy has also not received any confirmation about the number of deaths of its nationals. “Initial information suggests that a few Bangladeshis are among the dead but we still await the confirmation,” said Mohammad Nazmul Quanine, Bangladeshi Ambassador to the UAE. “Our officials have gone to Al Ain,” he said.

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The Pakistan embassy has also sent a team of officials to  Al Ain, said Jamil Ahmad Khan, the Pakistani Ambassador. “Our community welfare Attaché has been tasked to coordinate with the local authorities in this regard,” he said.

5.10pm: Accident happened at 7.45am

The truck carrying sand and other construction material veered off the road and collided with the bus carrying the workers at 7.45am, Brigadier Hussain Ahmad Al Harithi, Director of Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrol Directorate, said.

Police are calling on contracting companies and transportation agencies to ensure the strictest enforcement of safety rules while transporting workers, and regularly inspect vehicle safety standards. They also warned truck companies not to overload their vehicles and ensure safe driving under all conditions.

4.30pm: Police confirm death toll

Police have confirmed the death toll as 22, with 24 injured.

4.20pm: ‘Workers choked in sand’

The massive truck involved in the accident was carrying sand and other construction material, and apparently swerved while on the highway.

It is still unclear whether the bus collided head on with the truck or skidded on the mound of sand and crashed. Witnesses said most workers died after suffocating in the pile of sand and construction material, but this could not be independently verified.

A worker who lives in accommodation near the site of the accident told Gulf News that police blocked the highway at 8am and dozens of fire-trucks, ambulances and police patrols were seen rushing towards Al Rawdah palace.

3.20pm: Helicopters deployed to crash site

The accident happened around 8am on the Al Ain-Abu Dhabi Truck Road, near Al Rawdah palace, according to eyewitnesses. The area is approximately 35km from downtown Al Ain.

The bus was carrying a total of 46 people.

The bodies of the workers have been transferred to Al Ain Hospital’s morgue, while the injured have been transferred to Al Ain, Al Tawam, Al Noor and NMC hospitals.

There was no confirmation on the fate of the bus and the truck drivers.

Al Ain police deployed helicopters to extract the injured workers covered under a pile of sand at the site of the horrific accident.

The arterial Truck Road has been blocked to traffic.

3pm: At least 21 dead in Al Ain bus crash

Al Ain: At least 21 people died and 25 others injured in an accident in Zakhir district this morning when a bus carrying cleaning workers reportedly collided with a truck.

The dead bodies have been moved to Al Ain Hospital, while the injured are being treated at different hospitals.

The bus was reportedly carrying cleaning workers from different companies.

Those killed included 20 Bangladeshi nationals and one Pakistani.

The police have cordoned off the area and rescue work is being done.