Al Ain: Twenty-four workers were killed and 24 injured in an accident near Al Rawda Palace on the Al Ain-Abu Dhabi Truck Road on Monday.
This is the worst accident in the UAE in recent history. The victims were from different companies and were going to their work places. The workers are from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Witnesses said the accident occurred at around 7.45am near the palace, located some 35km from downtown Al Ain.
Police said the accident occurred because there was little space between the vehicles. Police did not say whether the drivers of the vehicles are among the casualties. The injured are being treated at Tawam and Al Ain hospitals and two private hospitals – Al Noor and NMC.
Brigadier Hussain Ahmad Al Harthi, Director of the Traffic and Patrols Department at Abu Dhabi Police, said the accident occurred when the truck carrying sand and crushed stones suddenly swerved and collided with the bus carrying around 48 workers.
Most victims died on the spot. Workers were stuck in the bus and covered in sand that fell from the truck. A witness said: “The truck hit the bus with a heavy thud and all the material loaded on the truck fell on the bus.”
Police and air and land rescue units extricated the dead and injured. Rescue teams dug through the sand and used special equipment to cut open the bus to reach the victims, some of whom were taken to Tawam Hospital in a helicopter.
All hospitals, public and private, were put on alert to deal with the high number of causalities. Some 11 injured were taken to Tawam Hospital, five to Al Noor Hospital, and the rest to Al Ain Hospital and NMC. Some of the cleaners are critical. The dead bodies were taken to the Al Ain Hospital morgue.