Saudi road
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Cairo: An expatriate doctor working at a hospital in Saudi Arabia was left devastated after he lost four family members in a road crash.

The mishap, which happened on a highway linking Mecca and Medina, resulted in the deaths of the man’s wife, her mother and two of their children.

Three other daughters were also in the accident and have been hospitalised with serious injuries including hemorrhage and various fractures.

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The accident occurred as the family were returning from Mecca after having performed Umrah, said Dr Hassan Ahmed, a Sudanese national.

They had planned to go to Medina to visit and pray at the Prophet’s Mosque and stay in the city for some days before returning to the city of Afif in central Saudi Arabia where Ahmed and his wife worked as doctors at a hospital.

“Some 200 kilometres from Medina, their car flipped over several times,” he told Saudi news portal Akhbar24.

His wife, her mother and their two children aged six and three months respectively died in the accident.

“My other three daughters are still in critical condition. They underwent surgery operations to stop internal bleeding while two of them remain on ventilators,” he added.

Saudi media has recently reported several deadly accidents. Earlier in August, six members of one Saudi family were killed in a car crash on a road linking Medina and Al Mahd governorate.

Last month, two vehicles collided on a road leading to Medina, leaving four people dead.

In May, a bus, carrying university students, collided with a car in the central city of Buraidah, leaving one female student dead and 24 others injured, their university said.

In March, 21 Umrah pilgrims were killed and 29 others injured when their bus turned over in the south-western Asir region.

In recent years, Saudi authorities have toughened penalties against traffic offences to reduce road crashes.

Traffic fatalities have dropped by around 35 per cent in five years from 2016.

The annual cost of traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia is estimated at around SR11.7 billion, according to a report based on findings by a ministerial committee for traffic safety.