Dubai: At least 17 people, mostly students, were injured when their school bus rammed into a water tanker near the Business Bay crossing in Dubai yesterday.
Around 13 to 15 students from the girls’ GEMS Our Own English High School in Al Warqa’a sustained minor injuries, according to reports from Dubai Police and other sources.
Police said the bus driver, supervisor and the tanker’s driver were also injured. All the injured were moved to Rashid Hospital.
In a statement, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said Rashid Hospital doctors treated 17 patients and all were discharged except for one student, the bus driver and supervisor.
“The patients included 15 students who sustained minor injuries. All were discharged except for one student who required further medical supervision,” the DHA said.
The driver and supervisor were severely injured.
An emergency team, which included 11 doctors from the ICU, surgery and trauma departments were all on standby to receive the injured.
Humaid Al Qutami, director-general of the DHA, visited the hospital and met the patients.
Police first tweeted about the “severe accident” at 7.22am yesterday. Gulf News visited Rashid Hospital and learnt that eight out of 13 schoolgirls were discharged by 10.30am. The accident resulted in heavy traffic congestion during the morning rush hour.
The road was cleared shortly. Dubai Police tweeted at 8.23am: “All the vehicles involved in the earlier road accident have been removed. Traffic is back to normal in Business Bay Crossing bridge.”
Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, director of Traffic Department at Dubai Police said that initial reports revealed that it was the bus driver’s mistake.
“Initial reports showed that he didn’t leave a safe distance between the two vehicles. Investigation is under way to know more details,” he said.
“Not leaving safe distance is a serious offence which always results serious accidents.”
In a statement, a GEMS Education spokesperson, said: “We can confirm there was an incident involving one of our school buses on the way to school this morning. All students are safe, however, a small number of students and staff sustained minor injuries and have been taken to hospital where they are being treated. Our priority is to ensure that our students are safe and secure. We can confirm that all students had their seat belts on at the time of the accident, which was in slow moving traffic at Business Bay.”
At Rashid Hospital, anxious parents chaperoned their discharged wards and proceeded to give their statements to Dubai Police officials.
Emergency doctors explained to parents the nature of the injuries, which were mostly contusions, swellings and some lacerations.
A nurse at Rashid Hospital’s trauma care department told Gulf News that four out of the 13 children were treated for minor injuries. They were allowed to leave with their parents.
Around 10am, a representative from the school said that nine other children were being kept under observation.
Gulf News spoke to one of the school employees who was injured in the bus accident.
“It was horrific. It must be around 6.40am as we usually reach the school premise by 7.10 am,” said the employee.
“Everyone was asleep and suddenly the bus braked hard. We all hit our heads on the seat ahead. Some glass windows shattered as well. I was told the bus had hit a water tanker. I am still trembling with fright. They are checking me for internal whiplash injuries.”
Accidents involving school buses
June 11, 2017: Ten students are injured when a minibus transporting them rams into a public bus in Muhaisnah.
September 29, 2016: 37 students injured as two school buses and a public bus collide in Abu Dhabi.
March 28, 2015: A 17-year-old student dies while several are injured in a school bus accident on Al Fayyah Road in Sharjah.
June 1, 2014: 18 students and three drivers are injured in a multiple-vehicle crash in Ras Al Khaimah.
March 27, 2014: A bus conductor and two students are injured after being flung out of a school bus when the door suddenly opens as the driver turns at a roundabout in Kalba.
September 10, 2013: A school bus driver is killed and seven passengers injured when the bus crashes into a lamp post.
June 14, 2011: Around 35 students have a narrow escape when their school bus collides with another vehicle on Shaikh Zayed Road in Dubai.
May 4, 2009: A school bus carrying 61 students collides with a car in Sharjah, resulting in both vehicles catching fire. There are no casualties.