Fujairah: Police have called for a nationwide study into the use of minibuses on the highway after five people died in a crash on Thursday.
They say the vehicles are unsafe and unstable when carrying more than 10 passengers at speeds of more than 100 km/h.
The remarks come in the wake of a crash in which five people were killed and six injured on Thursday morning, Fujairah Police said.
"Two of the injured men were in serious condition," a spokesman for the police told Gulf News.
A number of fatal accidents involving minibuses have occured in other emirates in the past two years, raising questions about the safety of the vehicles.
The accident occurred when a tyre burst and the minibus veered off the road and plunged into a ditch, Lieutenant Colonel Saeed Al Yamahi, director of the media department at Fujairah Police, told Gulf News.
The tragic incident happened around 6.40am in the Al Tawian area close to Dibba, along the road towards Ras Al Khaimah. "The vehicle was transporting the men from their accommodation in Dibba to their work place," Al Yamahi said. "The back tyre burst due to which the driver lost control and the vehicle hit the barrier before rolling over into a ditch, 15 metres from the road," he said.
The vehicle belongs to Sunline General Contracting, workers confirmed from Dibba Hospital, adding that they were to work on a villa project in Al Tawian. "Five of the victims were already dead when they were brought to the hospital. Of the six people injured, two were in critical condition initially. By evening, one patient's condition became stable but the other continues to be under high risk," Abdullah Salem, Director of Dibba Hospital, said.
"One of the victims is an Indian man from Punjab and the other four are from Bangladesh," according to a supervisor at Sunline. All five victims, aged between 26 and 45, died on the spot. The driver's condition is now stable.
The Indian victim, Lal Chand, from Jalandhar, is survived by his wife and three children back home, according to Manohar, who is from the same village as Chand and lives in the same labour accommodation.
"We haven't informed the family yet. It's hard… I don't know what to say."
"He is the sole breadwinner of his family… don't know how they will survive now." Manohar last spoke to Chand on Wednesday night before they both went to sleep. They mostly spoke about work, he said.
Food carried by the workers was seen scattered at the accident site, along with blood-drenched shoes.
Police have begun an investigation.
A number of fatal accidents involving minibuses have occurred in the country in the past few years raising questions about their safety.