Abu Dhabi: At least 19 labourers were injured in a collision between two buses in the Mussafah Industrial Area on Sunday.

Police said the accident, which happened at around 6am, was a result of overspeeding. Six of the victims were in critical condition.

All the victims were taken to Al Mafraq hospital and Zayed Military hospital for treatment.

In an official statement, Major Khalifa Al Khaili, Director of Highway Traffic and Patrols Section, said that the accident was caused due to excessive speeding and the failure to maintain adequate distance between vehicles.

The drivers were speeding to reach the work sites of their companies on time, he said.

According to Major Al Khaili, 11 passengers sustained serious injuries, six sustained medium injuries and two had minor injuries.

He urged companies to instruct their drivers to adhere to speed limits and called on drivers to start early enough to avoid the need to overspeed.

Dr Jehad Awad, Head of the Emergency Department at Al Mafraq Hospital told Gulf News that all the labourers were admitted for general check-ups and X-rays at 7am in Al Mafraq's emergency ward.

Within the hour, two patients were transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU); two were admitted to regular wards and another two were placed under observation.

Dr Awad said: "The rest of the labourers have been discharged. The two patients in critical conditions are suffering from a head injury and a fracture in the neck. They are unstable and whether or not we will perform surgery on them is unclear at this moment.

"The other patients are mostly suffering from multiple fractures and trauma. They are under observation, but their condition is not as serious as the other two in the ICU."

The doctor added that the injuries were a result of the passenger not using seat belts.

"From the injuries I can tell that the impact of the collision resulted in them hitting their heads hard on the seats in front of them, or by colliding head-to-head with the passengers in front of them. The pressure must have been immense to have caused such serious head injuries," the doctor said.