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Oman road tragedy claims 7 of Emirati family

Ministries and embassy helping out as private plane is sent to bring back bodies

  • Relatives, friends, neighbours and residents of Al Ain turn out in large numbers to pay their last respects.Image Credit: AHMED RAMZAN
  • Mohammad Bin Rashid, nephew of the late SaifAl KaabiImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Son of Saif Abdullah Al Kaabi, who died is seen weeping just before funeral prayers.Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
  • Salim Al Aduwi, son in law of the late SaifAl KaabiImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are providing all assistance to an Emirati family scarred by tragedy in Oman after seven members of the family died after a truck crashed into their car on Monday.

Both ministries are in contact with Omani police and officials as well as the UAE embassy and following up on investigations into the crash.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that it is coordinating with the UAE embassy in Oman under the direct supervision of Abdul Reda Khoury, the UAE ambassador to Oman, to speed up all legal procedures.

Gulf News has learned that the death toll from the horrific road tragedy has now gone up to nine, after an Omani woman died of her injuries on Monday night. A young Omani had earlier died of injuries sustained in the crash.

The accident happened near Mughsail, Salalah, in south Oman, when a speeding truck collided with the Emirati family’s vehicle sending it hurtling into another vehicle.

Four survivors of the crash are battling for life in the ICU of the Royal Hospital Salalah.

Saif Abdullah Al Kaabi, a retired UAE army brigadier from Al Ain, and his two sons Mohammad, Ahmad and four daughters Fatima, Afra, Hamda and Sara died at the scene of the accident.

The condition of the children’s mother is stated to be critical. She was taken to Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah after the crash. Two of the couple’s children survived the crash.

The child of an Omani police officer who was in the other car died before he could be admitted to hospital.

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued instructions for the bodies of the seven members of the Emirati family who died in the crash to be transported back to the UAE on a private jet, which arrived on Tuesday morning.

Shaikh Khalifa also ordered a second plane sent with a medical crew to transport the injured woman back to the UAE for further medical treatment. However the woman’s serious condition prevented her being flown back.

The bodies of the Omanis killed in the accident were flown to Muscat by a special Royal Oman Police flight.

Eyewitnesses to the crash said a low-bed trailer, a UAE-registered black Land Cruiser and a red saloon were involved in the accident.

The low-bed trailer was reportedly heading from Dhalkoot to Salalah and had just negotiated a big slope in front of the Mughsayil petrol station and entered the straight stretch to Salalah when the Emirati family’s vehicle came out of the parking area of Mughsayil Park and onto the main road.

“The trailer, driven by a Pakistani national, was at a speed as it had come down the hill and it hit the four-wheel-drive with tremendous force,” an eyewitness said. He added that the impact caused the SUV to be thrown against the red car, in which a police officer from Sur was travelling with his family.

“Seven occupants — a man, two boys and four girls — in the UAE SUV died on the spot,” the eyewitness said.

The trailer driver is also in hospital with broken legs.

“A one-year-old Omani child was brought dead to the hospital and another Omani man died at the hospital,” a source at the Royal Hospital Salalah said.

According to an Oman police source, the police officer, who is battling for life in ICU, had gone into a shock on being told about the death of his infant child.

Omani police told Gulf News they are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Brigadier Gaith Al Zaabi, director general of the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior, told Gulf News that he preferred not to issue a statement on the case at this juncture and was waiting for the Omani police investigations to be completed.

It may be recalled that the Abu Dhabi Ministry of Interior had recently cautioned UAE residents travelling by land to other countries in the Gulf to pay attention to traffic laws in places they were visiting for their own safety as well as that of others.

Experts in the capital urged people driving to neighbouring GCC countries to be way of other motorists’ mistakes.

“It is not enough for a driver to drive safely and abide by the speed limit. Part of being a good driver means getting involved in defensive driving, where motorists develop the skills to predict and avoid other drivers’ mistakes,” an instructor at the Emirates Driving Company said.

“Watching out for others’ road errors is based on road and weather conditions among other factors,” the instructor who chose to remain anonymous said.

Recently, Omani police statistics revealed that there had been 85 fatalities in 612 road accidents in the country in July.