Abu Dhabi: Six people died and 44 were injured in an early morning accident on Monday near Ruwais, about 240km west of Abu Dhabi city, the police have said. All those involved in the accident were Asian workers.
"A truck and a bus, transporting workers to their workplace, were involved in the crash that claimed at least six lives," said an Abu Dhabi police official, who asked not to be named.
Among the 44 people injured in the crash, 24 sustained severe to medium injuries.
The accident apparently happened when the bus was trying to take a U-turn from the Gayathi road to the road that leads to Ruwais, and the truck rammed the bus.
Those injured in the accident were rushed to Gayathi, Mafraq, Madinat Zayed and Ruwais hospitals by the police ambulance, he said. Traffic police are investigating the cause of the crash, he added.
Colonel Hamad Saeed Bin Trais Al Daheri, Director of the Western Region at Abu Dhabi police, said that the operations room was alerted about the crash at 5.30am.
"Preliminary data indicates that it is the bus driver's fault. He seems to have entered the main road without taking care, which led to the collision with the truck," Al Daheri said. He appealed to drivers of heavy vehicles — such as buses and trucks — to be extra cautious on the roads.
All the deceased are believed to be Indian workers, though the police are yet to confirm this as the bodies have not yet been formally identified.
According to a Ruwais resident, who claims to have seen the accident, the bus was full and had around 50 workers. The bus was taking workers from a labour accommodation in Gayathi to an Adnoc refinery, he said.
An Indian worker who reached the spot while the rescue operations were ongoing at the accident site near Ruwais told Gulf News the scene was horrible.
"I along with some colleagues reached the spot by 6.05am and we saw the police were breaking open the body of the bus to rescue the workers trapped inside the bus," said Shiju, who lives in a labour accommodation in Al Ruwais.
The damaged bus was seen several metres away from the accident spot, apparently flung by the impact of the collision, the eyewitness said.
"The body of the truck was upside down."
About three ambulances and several police vehicles were there, he said. "But we could not talk to the injured workers as the police had cordoned off the accident spot."
Shiju said he rushed to the spot after receiving a message that the bus carrying his colleagues had met with a major accident. But that was another minor accident which occurred about 100 metres away from the major accident scene, he said. The other bus collided with a taxi, causing a pile-up involving another two buses at a U-turn.
"All the buses were carrying construction workers and three of my colleagues received minor injuries," he said.
"They were discharged from the hospital after first aid," the worker said.