Survivors of the deadly accident recall horrific scenes

'The truck rammed right in the centre and we were thrown out of the windows while some crashed on the ground'

  • A shocked survivor at NMC Hospital in Al Ain. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • An accident survivor is treated at the NMC Hospital in Al Ain. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Survivors from the bus accident are examined at NMC Hospital, Al Ain. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Rescue operations under way at the accident spot, 35km from downtown Al Ain, on Monday. Image Credit: Courtesy Al-Ain Police Public Relations office
  • Friends and relatives of the accident victims wait outside Al Ain hospital. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Image Credit: Gulf News
31 Gulf News

Al Ain: A loud bang, mangled metal, screams of “save me” and piles of sand and construction debris all around — Mohammad Sulaiman is still trying to come to terms with the road accident in Al Ain on Monday.

Sulaiman, from Al Hakim Cleaning Company, was one of the 46 workers headed to work on the doomed bus that was hit by a truck on the Al Ain-Abu Dhabi Truck Road near Al Rawdah palace at 7.45am on Monday.

Twenty-four workers died, while another 24 were admitted to hospitals across the Oasis City.

“Some were stuck inside the bus for two hours, the emergency crew had to struggle with complicated options to get us out,” Sulaiman, 21, told Gulf News lying on a hospital bed at the New Medical Centre Speciality Hospital in Al Ain.

The painter from Bangladeshi was among three injured workers rushed to the hospital after Abu Dhabi police extricated them in a painstaking operation.

A Pakistani worker at the hospital said police arrived at the scene almost immediately, followed by dozens of ambulances. “We were helping each other first, I pulled out two bodies. All my friends are dead,” he said.

Sulaiman is yet to convey the message of his accident back home to his family in Bangladesh. “I don’t want to bother my mother... I will call her when I get out of the hospital in a couple of day’s time,” he said.


Sulaiman was sitting in the rear of the bus when the accident took place. According to him, most co-workers sitting at the front of the bus died.

“I don’t remember in details what happened... But I do remember the impact of the bus being hit by the truck. It hit right in the centre of the bus and all of a sudden there were loud noises all around. All I did at that point was to remember Allah and ask for his mercy,” he said.

A Pakistani survivor in his early twenties, lying on the bed with his leg wrapped in a bandage, said: “My friends are dead. Half of my family is here in Al Ain and we are just mourning the dead.”

According to him, the truck was trying to overtake the bus, which was about to turn. “The truck rammed right in the centre and we were thrown out of the windows while some crashed on the ground. Everyone seated behind me died. There were screams of ‘save me’ for two hours as many workers were stuck. Even the rescuers seemed to be a bit shocked at the scene in front of them,” he said.

At Al Ain Hospital, the injured started being wheeled in from 9am, while the dead were being transferred to the morgue by 10.30am.

Six of the injured admitted to the hospital were described as in a stable condition.
A worker waiting outside the morgue at Al Ain Hospital told Gulf News his cousin died in the accident. “He was a 21-year-old painter from Bangladesh. They are identifying his body... It’s all God’s will,” he said tearfully.

Azam, another Bangladeshi worker, was a little more fortunate — one of his cousins survived the accident with moderate injuries and was taken to Al Tawam Hospital. But he had no idea about another cousin who was also on the bus, and was desperately seeking information about which hospital to go to for more details.

A man who was said to be a public relation officer (PRO) of Al Hakeem Cleaning Company was seen compiling a list of the deceased from the morgue office at Al Ain Hospital, but declined to comment.

Police appeal

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.

Noor Nazzal is an intern at Gulf News


  • ahmed muneer uddin

    Feb 5, 2013 5:28


  • edison

    Feb 5, 2013 5:17

    my deepest condolence

  • Hugo Perera

    Feb 5, 2013 5:14

    It was unbelievable incident. Rest in peace for the departed souls. May the victims recover soon. God Bless!!

  • samadpka

    Feb 5, 2013 4:41

    Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon, first , do not allow any old model truck to UAE, allow only new model and keep limit of kilometer to driver in the road, after that just put in scrap like some European country rule. Also, This type of heavy vehicle should be validity of Mulkiya not more than 3 months, every 3 months traffic department to check vehicle conditions, this is my oponion to UAE traffic department to avoid this type of accident, please consider.

  • Mohammad Muddassar

    Feb 5, 2013 3:50

    May Allah give them peace in Jannah. إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ

  • Jabeen khan

    Feb 5, 2013 3:21

    Since i heard the news i could not control myself. It is very unfortunate and I pray the almighty to provide jannah to those who lost their lives and give more strength to the families of the victims. I wish all the injured to get well soon. I request the authorities to enforce a strict law, especially on transport companies who have a huge responsibility and who must observe the laws on road when they are carrying innocent lives. Failing to observe the law, request to punish them severely.

  • Mohammad Abul Hosein

    Feb 5, 2013 3:05

    Hey Allah, grant those deceased brothers jannah. We, as Bangladeshis, are shocked. We have know no word to express the sorrow. Allah, bless on the survivors. ameen. Mohammad Abul Hosein Asstt Editor The daily Manabzamin 40, Kawranbazar Dhaka Bangladesh

  • Adnan

    Feb 5, 2013 2:57

    We pray for the victims and the survivors.

  • Munawar Hussain

    Feb 5, 2013 2:54

    إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ May Allah SWT forgive us all and grant patience to the families of the deceased. This is a very sad news. Anyone found guilty should be dealt with severely. May Allah give them place in Jannah Ameen

  • Abdul Awal

    Feb 5, 2013 2:43

    Speed governors MUST be fitted on all mass transport and heavy vehicles. I have seen many, many times minibuses/vans rushing at 140 in emirates road.

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ahmed muneer uddin

5 February 2013 17:57 jump to comments