The severely damaged bus after the horrific accident on Mohammad Bin Zayed Road on Thursday. Image Credit: Dubai Police

Dubai: Officials swung into action to help grieving families after 17 people died in one of the UAE’s worst road accidents on Thursday.

Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, commander-in-chief of Dubai Police, and Dubai’s attorney general Eisam Eisa Al Humaidan visited the scene of the accident with other senior officials.

Dubai Police also allotted extra employees to help grieving families to complete paper work at Rashidiya Police Station on Friday.

How the accident happened. Image Credit: Gulf News

“It was a tragic accident [that] caused death to innocent people. Drivers should pay attention while driving as minor mistakes or negligence [can] lead to fatalities just like this bus crash incident, which caused death to 17 passengers from different nationalities,” said Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai police.

Meanwhile, Major-General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Head of the Federal Traffic Council and Assistant to the Dubai Police Chief for Operations Affairs, said that Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) put all precautionary measures on the road with signboards, but the driver’s mistake was fatal.

“Dubai police had extensive efforts to reduce death rates in 2019. The reduction was 40 per cent in the first half of this year, compared to last year, but the bus crash incident will damage those efforts because of a driver’s mistake,” Maj Gen Al Zafein said.

Consul General of India in Dubai, Vipul, and officials and social workers from the Indian Consulate visited Rashid Hospital, Rashidiya Police Station and the mortuary on Thursday, after learning that there were many Indians involved in the crash.

On Friday morning, Vipul told Gulf News that the consulate was coordinating with Dubai Police to help the victims’ families with repatriation procedures.

“We have been in touch with the families, police and hospital. Our officers will be available on the numbers that we tweeted. One person will be at Rashidiya Police Station and another one in the mortuary to assist the families,” the consul general said.

Relatives, friends and neighbours of the victims at Rashid Hospital. Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News

As the Indian Consulate kept releasing details of the Indian victims on its Twitter page, the Indian Minister for External Affairs, Dr. S. Jaishankar, offered his condolences to the families. “Deeply grieved by the unfortunate bus accident in Dubai that has claimed 12 Indian lives. My sincere condolences to the families. Our consulate @cgidubai is extending all help,” he posted.

Ahmad Hashem Bahrozyan, the CEO of the Public Transport Agency at RTA, and other senior officials from RTA, along with officials from Oman National Transport Company Mwasalat, also visited Rashid Hospital on Friday.

“It is a very big tragedy. It is very unfortunate that it happened just a few minutes before they reached the bus station. The driver took a wrong turn. Instead of turning to the bus station, he took the road that goes to the parking where buses are not allowed,” said Bahrozyan.

He said the Dubai-Muscat and Muscat-Dubai bus service run by Mwasalat remained suspended. “Mwasalat will announce the resumption of the service once the investigation is over.”