Abu Dhabi: Some 20 people were injured in multi-vehicle collisions on Thursday morning on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai road after a thick blanket of fog drastically reduced visibility.
One victim remains in critical condition.
As a result, 40 patrol cars responded to the incidents that took place between Al Reef Bridge towards Al Shahama and paramedics treated the wounded before taking them to hospitals for treatment.
Police say tens of cars were involved in the accidents whereas other unconfirmed eyewitness reports claimed that the number climbed up to 114 vehicles.
According to Colonel Hamad Nasser Al Balushi, Head of Peripheral Regions Traffic Department, Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate police arrived at the scene only minutes after the incidents occurred and vehicles were cleared off the road within two hours.
Pictures taken by witnesses on the scene show vehicles piled up on top of each other in addition to a motorcycle that was involved in the incidents.
Commuters on their way to the capital city from Dubai witnessed incidents on their side of the road.
George, an Abu Dhabi resident, said he and his mother were almost involved in the accidents.
“Cars were passing us at high speeds, not following rules or keeping a safe distance. I told my mum these cars will crash and a few kilometres ahead of us, where the road started to bottleneck, we braked.
"However, due to the moisture on the roads, my vehicle skidded past the first 10 to 15 vehicles while others were crashing into one another,” he told Gulf News.
“We must have skidded around 100 metres and we were driving at 70km/h. By the grace of God we came to a standstill a metre before we were about to hit another car. We counted around 114 cars. It looked like something out of a Hollywood movie,” he added.
Meanwhile, the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) warned residents in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai to be wary of fog that will remain especially thick on the roads until Sunday morning.
Those travelling between the three cities including the Western Region are also advised to do so before the fog gets thicker closer to midnight.
Additionally, people are urged to stay away from coastlines and the sea until Friday morning and again on Sunday when northwesterly winds will become much stronger causing higher waves and more dangerous seas. In some areas, visibility will be reduced to zero, officials at the NCMS told Gulf News, therefore residents are advised to exercise extreme caution at sea and on the road until weather conditions improve.
Official sources say the majority of patients were taken to Al Mafraq Hospital and the Abu Dhabi Services Company (Seha) which manages public hospitals in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is still awaiting police investigations to be complete before issuing a statement.
On Saturday, Al Ain witnessed a 19-car pile-up that injured three people and a camel in the early hours of the morning due to heavy fog.
The official urged motorists to leave a safe distances between their vehicles during low visibility, to refrain from making common mistakes such as leaving hazard lights on while driving. Other advice included travelling at reduced speeds and avoiding changing lanes.
— With inputs by Samihah Zaman, Staff Reporter