Dubai: Twenty-one blue-collar workers were injured in a bus crash in Dubai over the weekend, a local hospital has confirmed.
The crash happened at 8.45pm on Thursday in Muhaisnah and all of the injured were transferred to the nearby NMC Speciality Hospital in Al Nahda.
A spokesperson from hospital said 18 medical staff were assigned to treat the injured, who were from two companies, comprising eight Bangladeshis, six Nepalese, four Pakistanis, one Indian, a Kenyan and a Gambian.
“Nineteen of the patients had only minor injuries such as cuts, bruises and sprains, two had moderate injuries like fractures and one was serious,” said the spokesperson.
“Only two needed help from a general and orthopaedic surgeon and all but one were discharged after first aid and pain medication within three hours of the incident,” added the spokesperson. “The remaining patient was admitted and discharged in the morning.”
While the insurance of 11 patients from one of the companies paid for the treatment of their injured workers, the hospital, in the spirit of Eid, waived the bill for the remaining 10 workers from the other company.
Prasanth Manghat, CEO and Executive Director of the hospital, said: “Life is fragile yet precious, and there is no greater glory and joy in preserving it. NMC Health is committed to working with the key stakeholders to ensure that quality health care, which is a fundamental right of every citizen is delivered to one and all.”
He also expressed his gratitude to ambulance staff for bringing all of the injured to their hospital.
“We had the ability to deliver,” added Manghat.
The incident follows an earlier bus crash in June in which 17 people died when their Muscat to Dubai coach service ploughed into a height restriction barrier on the turn off from Mohammad Bin Zayed Road leading towards Rashidiya Metro Station.
Bus crashes involving workers are also not uncommon in the UAE.
Two were killed and 31 were injured in a bus crash in Ras Al Khaimah just last month, while 15 were killed when their bus crashed into the back of a stationary lorry on Emirates Road in 2014. Twenty four were also killed in Al Ain in 2013 when a bus was crushed by a lorry carrying sand.
Reports at the time had stated that 224 had been killed in accidents involving buses, mini-vans and trucks in the UAE over the past 15 years from the period of 1999 to 2014, averaging 14 deaths per year.
The Federal Traffic Council announced in May that they would phase out all mini-buses in the UAE by January 2023, while schools would stop using them by September 2021. The decision came during a council meeting chaired by Maj Gen Engr Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Deputy Commander General of Dubai Police for Operations Affairs and the President of the Federal Traffic Council. At this meeting it was also announced that mortality rates on UAE roads had dropped by 32 per cent over the last year.
Abu Dhabi Police introduced new standards for the licencing of 15-seater minibuses on August 5 last year. The standards were aimed at improving safety and developing transport services and came about following a spate of accidents.