Four killed, over 300 hurt in the worst-ever pile-up involving more than 150 vehicles

ABU DHABI - In the worst-ever multiple collisions in the history of the country, apparently caused by heavy fog and negligent driving, more than 150 vehicles, including 12 buses, rammed into each other on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway yesterday morning, resulting in four deaths and injuries to 317 people.

By Adel Arafah (Our staff reporter)

Published: Wed 12 Mar 2008, 8:21 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:42 PM

Eyewitnesses said they saw more than 150 cars involved in the accidents.

Around two dozen vehicles involved in the accident were destroyed by fire caused by the impact of the collisions, according to police.

There were several smaller accidents along the highway at Al Rahba, Al Samha and Ghabaat Al Maha.

The accident caused a heavy traffic jam for several hours on the highway and the police had to divert the traffic to other routes. Colonel Othman Al Tamami, Director of Emergency and Safety Department in the Abu Dhabi Police, said the central operations room received information at 6.39am on the occurrence of traffic accidents where motor vehicles were involved in multiple collisions on the road extending from Al Bahiyya flyover up to the Ghantoot flyover in the exit direction towards Dubai.

Emergency, ambulance and rescue vehicles of Abu Dhabi Police and fire engines of the Civil Defence Department as well as two helicopters from the Abu Dhabi Police Air Wing and that of Dubai Police rushed to the scene of the accidents.

Squads from Armed Forces and a number of police patrols and other vehicles also rushed to the spots to lend a helping hand to other rescue teams, he said.

They immediately secured the safety of the injured people and extinguished the fires which broke out in a number of vehicles as a result of the string impact of collision, he said. The injured were taken to the nearest hospitals.

He said that until 2pm yesterday, three people had died and 317 people of different nationalities suffered injuries, of whom six were serious, 39 moderate and 272 were slightly hurt.

As many as 34 people who were hurt in the accidents were discharged after being given first aid.

Colonel Hamad Adeel Al Shamsi, Director of Traffic and Patrols Department, said rescue and evacuation of the injured were made within hours despite the obstacles. Evacuation and rescue of the injured took time due to the bad weather and the mess caused by 12 big buses that had rammed into each other.

Non-adherence to the rule of keeping safe distance between vehicles, traffic jams during the peak hours coupled with heavy fog that enveloped the area had contributed to the tragedy, he said.

Colonel Shamsi urged users of highways to take caution, especially in early morning, and keep sufficient and safe distance to avoid crashing into the rear of other cars.

Major road accidents in UAE between Dec. 2006 and 2007

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