x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Nannies held over triple road death

Two women are in custody following fatal incident. The National launches a campaign to improve the UAE's road safety.

Floral tributes left on the central reservation on Airport Road outside Carrefour, where three sisters were killed on Monday.
Floral tributes left on the central reservation on Airport Road outside Carrefour, where three sisters were killed on Monday.

Police are questioning two nannies of three sisters killed by a car while trying to cross a busy road on Monday night. The three girls, aged four, six and seven, were hit outside the Carrefour on Airport Road at about 9pm, said Hannan Hadi of the Indonesian embassy. Two of the nannies, Indonesians aged 22 and 24, suffered minor injuries and were in police custody yesterday, he said.

The third, aged 24, also Indonesian, was in critical condition at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. "The two nannies are still at the police station," Mr Hadi said. "They are being investigated for negligence, for not taking care of the children when they crossed the road." Their male employer, Salem al Mansouri, his wife and three other children were in Saudi Arabia when the incident happened. The parents returned yesterday, officials said.

Police have not released the names of the housemaids as they are still investigating the incident, Mr Hadi said. It is understood that the driver involved in the accident stopped after the children were hit, but it is unclear whether that person is being investigated. Officials on Tuesday said the driver was believed to have been speeding. Mohammad Bassam al Kousa, 48, of Syria said he saw the aftermath of the accident from his office just off the road. He heard brakes squealing and the sound of something being hit. "I thought a car hit the road island, hit the cement base," he said.

He said he looked from his second-floor office and "only saw a big girl, around eight years old, and another person was being taken from the corner before the point where drivers turn right to go to Carrefour. That person looked like a grown-up but I did not recognise if it was a man or a woman." "After that, ambulances and police came," he added. "They did the first aid to the girl who was carried to the island by some guys, presumably private security guards - they wore uniforms but were not police. Before the police came, there was an Emirati man sitting next to the girl on the island.

"He might have been the driver, I don't know. The car was a Lexus." Mr al Kousa said there was an accident almost every day at the entrance to Carrefour's car park. "This point is almost completely hidden. Also there are no road signs saying there is a turn on the right. A driver would realise suddenly it's there, brake suddenly and turn right. Poor children, they were three. Poor driver, too - he must be suffering from guilt after he hit three sisters. It was a horrible scene."

Nabil Zul Fiqar, a Carrefour private security guard from Pakistan, was working when the accident took place. "I heard the noise," he said. "I saw lots of police there, and I heard they were three girls. "There is too much traffic on this road. A lot of people park in front of Carrefour. People coming and people leaving, from one side to another - too much mess." Musheer al Rahman, a driver from Pakistan, said accidents happened near Carrefour "every hour".

mchung@thenational.ae rruiz@thenational.ae hhassan@thenational.ae