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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Dubai Police conduct 1,700 land rescue missions in first two months of year

Among the rescues, police saved a man who fell into an air vent from the third floor of a building as he tried to escape them

A driver and his passengers were trapped in a minibus after colliding with two vehicles. Courtesy Dubai Police
A driver and his passengers were trapped in a minibus after colliding with two vehicles. Courtesy Dubai Police

Over 1,700 land rescue missions were carried out during the first two months of the year covering incidents that resulted in eight deaths and 53 people being injured, Dubai police have said.

Maj Abduallah Bishoh, director of land rescue operations at Dubai Police, said: “A total of 1,769 land rescue missions were carried out by Dubai police between the beginning of this year up until February 25, during which 220 incidents involved rescuing people trapped in vehicles, 1,049 transporting stuck vehicles and 40 helped people trapped in apartments and elevators.

Major Bishoh said his unit also handles the rescue of people who are lost in the desert and that some of the call outs are for situations that are a little more unusual.

“Many of the land rescue unit’s missions are related to rescuing a person trapped in a vehicle,” said Maj Bishoh.

“However, some of the missions [we have handled] have included rescuing victims who have put their hands in meat grinders. There were around three similar incidents in 2017 and the victims were transferred to hospitals. We split the device while doctors freed their hands,” said Maj Bishoh.

In a bizarre situation, officers from the land rescue unit saved the life of a man who fell into an air vent from the third floor of a building in Dubai as he was trying to escape from police.

“The 40-year-old man, whose nationality was not disclosed, was running away from police officers and he tried to hide in the ventilation shaft of a building, but he got stuck.

"The suspect stayed in the air vent for an entire day, refusing to get out of it.

"The rescue team provided him with water and continued to contact him throughout the day until he decided to hand himself over to them. Police used a rope to extract him from the shaft and embraced all measures to ensure the man’s safety,” said Maj Bishoh.

“Eight people have been killed and 53 others injured in incidents [so far this year]. Most of the deadly crashes involved rescuing people trapped in cars and minibuses following accidents caused by not paying attention to the road and speeding,” said Maj Bishoh.

“Last Wednesday morning, a lorry driver was rescued from a major accident caused by not paying attention to the road. He fell asleep while driving, hit a pole and flipped on Emirates Road. The vehicle caught fire. Thankfully, we responded to the incident and rescued the driver."

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Commenting on minivans, he said: “Those type of vehicles lack safety standards and are easily involved in car accidents.”

The typical land rescue mission unit response time is 11 minutes, according to department figures, and there are around ten police patrols involved in missions in the emirate, including in Hatta, Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Jabal Ali, Al Barsha and Diera.

Almost 22,500 land rescue missions were carried out by Dubai Police in 2017, down from 26,250 the previous year, according to Dubai police.