x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Five dead, six injured in Fujairah minibus crash

Burst tyre caused vehicle to leave the road, and left all occupants of bus either dead or hospitalised.

FUJAIRAH // Five construction workers died and six were injured, two seriously, when the minibus taking them to work skidded off the road and crashed down an embankment early Thursday.

A survivor of the crash described the scene of terror in the vehicle as it overturned and landed on its roof. “We were all screaming for our lives,” said Badshah, from Bangladesh. “My head and shoulder were hurt, but I feel lucky to survive.”

The accident happened at about 6.40am, when a tyre on the 14-seat Toyota minibus burst on the Dibba-Taween road near Al Taween police station, and the vehicle crashed through a railing and down an embankment before overturning.

The five men who died were Humanyun Mia, 30, Mousa Mia, 29, Javed Mohammed Ali, 26, and Mohammed Hashim, 45, from Bangladesh, and Lal Chand, 45, from India. The six injured men, one of them the driver, were taken to Dibba Hospital for treatment.

Two were in a serious condition last night, one with head injuries and the other with a ruptured liver, said Dr Mohammed Abdullah, director of Fujairah Medical District.

The men worked for Sunline General Contracting, and were on their way to a housing project in Al Taween.

One of their colleagues at the company’s 22-man labour accommodation said yesterday he was supposed to have travelled on the minibus but could not go because of other work obligations.

“I feel lucky,” said Atiq-Ur Rahman, from Bangladesh. “The men were with us till last night and even spoke to us when they were going to work this morning.

“It’s unbelievable that they are no more. We are totally devastated.”

Khamis Mohammed, the owner of Sunline, will visit embassies on Sunday to begin the process of repatriating the bodies of the five who died. He will also provide any compensation owed to families, he said.

“I will give them what they deserve, according to the law. This is the first time this happened. I don’t know the rules. ”

A Fujairah police source said there would be no criminal charges in the case as it was “clearly an accident”.

The remaining labourers from Sunline travelled to Dibba Hospital yesterday to visit their injured colleagues.

“We were living like a family: sharing our problems and difficulties at the camp,” said one of them, Dhyan Chand. “We are praying to God that all the injured men recover fast and come back to the camp.

“It will take a long time for us to forget this incident.”

frahman@thenational.ae

* Additional reporting by Amna Al Haddad and Carol Huang