Four killed in road accidents as Omanis celebrate Gulf Cup win
Thousands poured onto the streets after victory over UAE in penalty shoot-out
Four people died in road accidents as Omanis celebrated their country's Gulf Cup win on Friday night.
Thousands of fans across the country drove through streets waving flags, honking horns and blaring music until the early hours of Saturday after Oman were crowned champions in the football tournament played in Kuwait City.
The deaths occurred in three accidents that took place amid the celebrations. Hospital sources and witnesses said the victims were an Omani, a Yemeni and two Bangladeshis.
“The Omani in his twenties died after the car he was travelling in lost control. The driver and two passengers who were celebrating together survived,” said a paramedic at Rustaq hospital, north of the capital Muscat.
Two Bangladeshis died in Muscat after their vehicle hit a concrete barrier, witnesses said.
“They were trying to avoid a car overtaking from the opposite direction. It was difficult for the paramedics to drive in the long queues of cars celebrating Oman’s Gulf victory. It took 10 minutes to reach the two men,” said Faris Al Falahi, one of the fans celebrating on Ghubrah Street in central Muscat.
In Sohar city in the Al Batnah region, a Yemeni died after his car was accidentally pushed into a roadside ditch in the middle of the celebrations.
“The Yemeni was the only one who died in Sohar but seven others were injured in separate incidents and they were all treated at the Sohar hospital,” a paramedic at the hospital said.
Omani celebrations of the penalty shoot-out win over the UAE were also marred by the collapse of a barrier after the final at the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad stadium. State television said 12 Omanis were treated for minor injuries but gave no other details.
Oman had won the Gulf Cup of Nations only once before, when it hosted the tournament in 2009.
Updated: January 6, 2018 07:17 PM