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Abu Dhabi bus crash: Victims were sleeping when they died

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on January 17, 2020 | Last updated on January 18, 2020 at 05.55 am
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Khaleej Times spoke to one of the injured women who said her colleagues were sleeping at the time of the crash.

The six Asian expats killed in Thursday's bus-lorry collision may have passed away in their sleep, according to one of the 19 injured women recovering at a hospital in Abu Dhabi.

The bus carrying 24 women staff of a cleaning services company was travelling from Abu Dhabi city to Shahama and other suburban areas.

By Friday evening, the nationalities of all the deceased have been identified: three Nepalese, two Sri Lankan, all women, and a Pakistani driver - the only male in the bus. The names of four victims are Rizwan Ullah (driver), Krishna Kumari Adhikari, Bhavana and Amisha (all from Nepal). The names of the two Sri Lankan expats are not known yet.

Khaleej Times spoke to one of the injured women. Minathing from Nepal isn't aware about the passing away of her colleagues but said all were sleeping, which unfortunately for the six was their last one.

"I cannot recollect anything. It was early morning. We were all sleeping. The only thing I remember is a sudden impact," said Minathing, who has multiple stitches on her head injury which runs few inches and a swollen left eye.

"I banged my head somewhere and fell unconscious. I busted my head. Now I am here in hospital."

Minathing works as a cleaner and was set to be dropped at her workplace.

"I stay in Abu Dhabi. My company has offices here and Dubai. Almost everyone is from the city. We work at different schools and other sites. I work at a school in Shahama, some others in Al Reef. But I don't know much about others as we don't stay together. We are
picked in the morning and dropped to workplaces."

Minathing feels lucky to have survived. She was moved from ICU to ward on Friday.

"Actually I don't know much. It pains. I am recovering well as I am receiving good care here. People from my company visited me. Otherwise I don't have anyone else to come. I am alone here for two years now," she said.

The duty doctor at hospital said only one person is in ICU and few in general wards and rest had been discharged.

Social worker M.M. Nasar Kanhangad, who is following the developments at the mortuary, police station and hospitals, said 2020 has started on a bad note and should serve as a stark message to motorists.

"The injured are placed in different hospitals. I met a few of them. They are all in state of shock and trauma. The problem is none know what exactly happened. The driver may have dozed off or busy with his mobile phone. Motorists should follow traffic rules. This accident happening a day after Abu Dhabi Police implemented a new radar to catch tailgaters is a message to everyone to be extra careful on the road. None has the right to play with others' lives. We have lost six people due to the carelessness of one person. This is a lesson for everyone," said Kanhangad, who is authorised by the Indian Embassy to help with repatriation of bodies.

The accident on Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street opposite Al Raha Beach was due to recklessness and careless behaviour, Abu Dhabi Police had said on Thursday.

Ashwani Kumar

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