Family of Emirati boys who drowned in open pit seek to reopen case
Public prosecution had ruled the accident as an 'act of God'
The family of two Emirati boys who drowned in a pit of rainwater in Dibba in 2011 have reopened their case against the Municipality after numerous attempts to appeal the court’s verdict.
At the time, public prosecution ruled that the drownings were "an act of God" and so closed the case without charging anyone.
Sultan, 14, and Khaled Al Yamahi, 13, drowned while playing near the unfenced pit that had been dug by companies carrying rocks and sand from the area. At the time Fujairah Civil Defence said warning signs had not yet been erected.
The hole was about 300 metres wide and about 4.5 metres deep, according to Mohammed Khamis, a resident of Basira Al Jabaliya.
Khalid slipped into the unmarked pool after dark and his brother Sultan went in to save him. Their parents were out of the country at the time.
In 2014 the family tried to appeal the verdict, blaming Dibba Municipality, Fujairah Public Works Department and the private mining and quarrying company for failing to implement safety measures to prevent such an incident.
"Now I have lost my boys and I worry about other children because there is no sign and no protection," said Saeed Al Yamahi, their father, said at the time.
"This is all because there is no sign. The municipality or the company have to put a sign to say it is dangerous for walking here. Why do they take the sand so close to the houses?"
Lawyers had their appeal attempt rejected by prosecution who said that the guardian did not file a civil case, which is a requirement in order to receive compensation.
Dr Sultan Al Mouathen and Juma Mulah, the two lawyers assigned to the family’s case, convinced Fujairah Appeal Court on October 4 this year to bring the case back to court and reopen investigations.
“After many attempts, we managed to get the Federal Court approval on the appeal and agreed to return it to back to Fujairah Appeal Court to be considered by a different committee,” said Dr Al Mouathen.
The family said they were grateful and had faith in the country’s judiciary system.
“We trust in the integrity, transparency and fairness of the UAE judiciary system, our leadership has given a significant interest and importance to our judiciary system and we believe in it,” said Mr Al Yamahi, father of Sultan and Khaled.
The lawyers are seeking an undisclosed amount of financial compensation for the family.
Updated: October 17, 2017 02:03 PM