Dubai: A 14-year-old girl was devastated and sobbing bitterly as she saw her mother and brother die right before her eyes in a tragic incident Tuesday morning in Jumeirah Lake Towers.
The mother committed suicide by jumping off the window of her eighth-floor apartment, minutes after her five-year-old son accidentally fell to his death off the same window, Dubai Police said.
The daughter, who was waiting for her school bus to arrive, witnessed the events unfold.
The incident happened at the Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai yesterday around 7am, in the R cluster at building number MAG 214.
Brigadier Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Director of Dubai Police's Criminal Investigation Department, said the 33-year-old mother was waiting with her daughter for the school bus in front of their tower and left her son unattended in the apartment.
While they were waiting, she saw her son dangling out of the window of the apartment after some people near the building spotted the child and started screaming. Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police, immediately moved to the accident site to lead the investigation.
A security guard who saw this happen yelled at the boy to go back inside, by which time the mother rushed upstairs to pull her son in, but arrived too late as the boy had already fallen by then. She rushed downstairs again to find her son dying. The security guard who tried to catch the boy got injured and was later sent to hospital. Upon seeing this, she became hysterical and rushed to her apartment where she jumped out of the window. The boy died shortly after, but the mother died instantly, police said.
The woman's husband, who was out of the country, was informed of the tragedy and was on his way back to receive the bodies from the morgue, while the family's daughter, who saw her brother and mother fall out of the window and die, was handed over to her relatives until her father's return.
Mohammad Hassan, an engineer by profession and a neighbour of the family, told Gulf News that he heard a loud thud and a hysterical scream at around 7am. When he came out from his apartment, he saw the mother running, yelling "disastrous day" (in Arabic) repeatedly.
Hassan took the next elevator and came down to find the five-year-old boy lying in a pool of blood near the entrance to the building's underground parking, with his 14-year-old sister beside him.
"The sister was sobbing bitterly and holding the boy's hand. He was badly injured but still alive… he was dying. She was wearing a blue-black uniform and head scarf, and had blood all over her dress."
"The mother again rushed back into the building and after waiting for 3-4 minutes I and the security guard and another eyewitness went to her apartment looking for her, but couldn't find her."
"It is only later that we learnt from others that she had thrown herself down the window."
According to him, the family was of Iranian origin and had moved into the single bedroom apartment only about one month back. The bodies were taken to Rashid Hospital.
The daughter who is in a state of shock and is with her uncle and other relatives, according to police and witnesses. When Gulf News visited the scene, she was being consoled by two women as blood was being cleaned from the street.
The building management said that they are not able to comment about the incident as police investigation is ongoing.
Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police Chief, was following up from the operations room as soon as he was informed about the incident. Although there is no criminal suspicion, he summoned the building's safety engineer to find out the reason for the incidents and check the safety measures in the building.
People gathered below the building pleaded with the mother not to jump off, as she was repeatedly trying to force herself down the narrow window, witnesses told Gulf News.
A resident in a nearby tower, who witnessed the deaths while dropping his child off for school said: "Because the opening of the window was so narrow, her legs got caught and she was struggling to free it."
"By this time, several people had gathered below the building and were pleading with the woman not to jump. One of them even ran to fetch a sofa in order to cushion her fall. But the woman freed her leg and jumped — this time she fell to the ground," he said.
"The mother landed atop the boy's body," he added.
"It was horrifying! I was driving out of the parking when I saw the bodies and the pool of blood and stopped," another resident of the building said.