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Probe into car park roof collapse in Abu Dhabi

Preliminary car damage estimates have risen up to Dh200,000

Image Credit: Courtesy: Al Khaleej
Several cars were damaged when the roof of a car park collapsed in Khalifa City in Abu Dhabi. The Attorney Generalhas ordered a probe into the incident.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Attorney General Yousuf Saeed Al Ibri has ordered a committee to investigate the collapse of a car park roof in Khalifa City A residential complex in the capital.

The committee, which will report directly to the Attorney General, includes an engineer from the Municipality of Abu Dhabi city, as well as representatives from the consultant and contractor companies that worked on the Al Rayanna residential area project.

Members of the committee have already visited the site of the collapse to begin investigations.

In addition, another specialised committee made up of independent parties will also examine the site and decide the cause of the collapse.

On Sunday evening, the courtyard of the Al Rayanna residential complex caved into the underground parking lot.

Following the incident, around 194 public school teachers and Adec staff residing with their families in the complex were moved to alternative accommodation, said Ahmad Al Shamisi, general services division manager at the Adec.

While there were no human injuries, the collapse left six cars moderately damaged. Three other vehicles incurred less severe damages.

“Preliminary estimates show that car damages have reached approximately Dh200,000,” an official source at the investigative committee told Gulf News. The official confirmed that 250 homes out of the complex’s total 1,500 apartments have been evacuated.

A garden for families and children had apparently been set up at Al Rayyana without official approval, and this caused more pressure than the ground could withstand, resulting in the collapse. However, other causes are also being looked into at present.

An Arab civil engineering consultant who lives in the Al Rayanna complex said a unit from the Abu Dhabi Police Air Wing was present at the site soon after the roof gave way.

“I visited the site the next day and found it closed off. Still, I could see a visible engineering error at the point where the underground parking poles met the roof,” he said.

Insurance experts predict the burden of damaged cars will be borne by insurance companies.

Financial compensation has also been provided by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) to staff members and public school teachers who were displaced by the incident, a senior Adec official told Gulf News.

An expert at the Emirates Insurance Association in the capital told Gulf News all car insurance plans in the UAE include a standard Third Party Liablitiy (TPL) policy.

“This policy covers anything that happens to a vehicle from an external source [not belonging to the insured person, known as the second party],” he said.

“Owners of the vehicles damaged by the roof collapse need to do one of two things depending on their insurance policy: if they have signed up for comprehensive coverage, then their own car insurance company will take care of the cost of repair.

“On the other hand, owners with a TPL plan, or partial coverage, have to personally ask for their car damage compensation from the complex owner or developer,” the insurance expert added.

He also explained that the insurance company handling the Al Rayyana residential complex will be responsible for covering the entire cost — as yet unconfirmed — of repairing the collapsed courtyard.

Meanwhile, Adec staff members and teachers were unable to attend school on Monday morning due to the incident which left them stranded, Al Shamisi said.

“School principals were therefore informed of their absence,” he added.

The Adec staff members are currently staying at nearly 200 rooms at the Yas Viceroy Hotel on Yas Island.

“New accommodation has been arranged for them already, and these lodgings are located in luxurious localities to make up for the inconvenience,” the official told Gulf News.