x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Driver held over sisters' deaths

Motorist remanded in custody as one of the girls' nannies remains in critical condition and embassies call for road safety awareness.

The driver of the car that struck three young sisters was being held by police last night in connection with the girls' deaths, the Ministry of Interior said, as the subject of road safety has come into national focus. Ministry officials said the driver of the car was speeding when it struck the Emirati sisters - aged seven, six and four - and their three nannies as they crossed Airport Road on Monday.

One of the nannies, a 24-year-old Indonesian, remained in critical condition in Sheikh Khalifa Medical City last night. The other two women, 24 and 22, suffered minor injuries and were taken into police custody for questioning. Hannan Hadi, the head of the consular section at the Indonesian embassy, said officials had not yet been able to visit the nanny in hospital, nor those in police custody, as police had not confirmed their names. The parents of the girls, who were in Saudi Arabia with their three other children when the accident happened, returned to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The names of the girls have not been released but they were the daughters of Salem al Mansouri.

A day after The National launched a campaign for safer roads, officials at several embassies said a new effort was needed to promote better driving and pedestrian safety among expatriates. Four boys remained in Umm al Qaiwain Hospital last night - including a nine-year-old in intensive care with chest, head and leg injuries - after the bus they were travelling in collided with a trailer on the Umm al Qaiwain to Ras al Khaimah motorway on Tuesday.

Fifteen Emirati pupils, all boys, were on the bus, police said. The others were released from hospital after treatment. newsdesk@thenational.ae