Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 9 August 2020

Dubai bus driver's quick thinking saves 20 passengers from flood

The bus was travelling through Hatta when a flash flood triggered by heavy rain swamped the road

Twenty people were rescued after the bus they were travelling on was caught in a flash flood in Dubai's Hatta valley.

The bus was travelling in the area surrounding Umm Al Nasour mountain on Tuesday when the road began to flood because of heavy rain. The driver told the passengers to disembark and then led them to higher ground.

Officers from Hatta Police Station were called to the area at 7.30pm. Col Mubarak Al Ketbi, director of the station, said the driver's quick thinking saved the passengers.

“The bus driver acted quickly and got the people out of the bus after the water level inside the bus began to increase and directed them to the highest nearby peak until the rescue team arrived,” he said.

The rescue teams, from Dubai Police and Civil Defence, initially struggled to reach the bus.

“Police patrols were unable to enter due to the narrow road and rugged valley, in addition to the presence of large stones and rocks blocking the way,” he said.

“The team started to look for other alternatives to reach the stranded people and decided to use Polaris bikes,” Col Al Ketbi said.

"First Warrant Officer Ahmed Tarish drove the bike inside the valley to reach the top of the mountain to save the stranded people.”

Police said one of the passengers sustained a minor injury during the incident but the rest were unharmed.

Officer Tarish said that the mission was dangerous and made difficult by the rough terrain, darkness and pouring rain.

“There was a possibility to hit a rock or fall into holes in the valley so I made sure to drive the bike slowly until I managed to reach the top of the mountain,” he said.

“I helped the injured person get on the bike with me, while the rest of the people walked behind me along with two men from the civil defence."

They travelled down the mountain on a road at the edge of the valley, where police and civil defence were waiting along with ambulances.

Heavy rain fell across parts of the country on Tuesday and led to widespread flooding along the eastern coast.

Four people, including two children, died when flash floods swept away three vehicles in Wadi Al Helo, Sharjah.

Updated: May 27, 2020 10:04 PM

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