x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Heavy fog on Abu Dhabi to Dubai motorway causes mass vehicle pile-ups

At least 50 cars involved in multiple crashes on the E11 on Friday morning as fog limited visibility to five metres in some areas.

Dozens of accidents were reported on both sides of the motorway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Friday morning after heavy fog reduced visibility. Jen Thomas / The National
Dozens of accidents were reported on both sides of the motorway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Friday morning after heavy fog reduced visibility. Jen Thomas / The National

ABU DHABI // A major pile-up involving about 30 Dubai-bound vehicles was among several crashes on both sides of the motorway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Friday amid thick fog.

At least one person covered in blood and wearing a head bandage was carried away on a stretcher into an ambulance.

Dozens of motorists parked alongside the road as visibility fell to less than 5 metres in some areas.

“People are not driving safely,” said Nauman Heider, from Pakistan, who left Dubai at 6.45am but pulled over near Al Samha at about 8am. “I admit that I am also a crazy driver but this is too dangerous for me.”

Mr Heider saw two car fires on his way to Abu Dhabi.

“It was totally burned out. That’s when I thought maybe I should be very careful,” he said.

One other pile-up and several crashes were reported on the Dubai-bound side of the motorway. The accidents, near the Kizad industrial zone, involved about 50 vehicles.

Witnesses reported the largest pile-up, involving about 30 vehicles, was spread over a kilometre of road near the service station close to Kizad. Police were there from 8am.

More crashes occurred about 5km along the road, with one involving about six vehicles. One of these cars was completely burnt out after being engulfed in flames.

Thick fog started to cover the Liwa desert at about 11.30pm on Thursday, the weather bureau said.

“This then extended across all areas in the Western Region and spread to Abu Dhabi and also between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain,” a spokesman said.

The heavy fog made visibility “very poor” in some areas.

“Whenever there is fog, drivers are always urged to cut down on their speed and to keep enough distance between their car and the car in front,” said Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, director of Dubai Police’s General Department of Traffic.

“Visibility plays a major factor in accidents during the foggy weather but, unfortunately, some drivers do not care and they play it by ear.

“All of a sudden there is another car in front of them and they do not have enough time to stop.

“The speed limit is there for regular days when visibility is nice. Some people are mistaken if they think they can drive at 100kph in a 100kph zone on days like this. They have to cut their speed.”

The Ministry of Interior issued a warning to drivers on Thursday saying fog was forecast and to be careful.

newsdesk@thenational.ae