One year on, Dubai still shudders at memory of bus crash that killed 17
The tragic mishap occurred on June 6, 2019, at Al Rashidiya exit on the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road.
It was exactly one year ago that an extended Eid Al Fitr break turned tragic after a bus crash in Dubai claimed 17 lives. The Oman-registered bus was transporting 30 passengers from Muscat to Dubai on June 6, 2019, when it crashed into a height restriction barrier - minutes before it was to reach its destination.
When and where did the accident happen?
The tragic mishap occurred around 5.40pm on June 6, 2019, at Al Rashidiya exit on the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road. The driver took a wrong lane that leads to a car park instead of sticking to one of two lanes reserved for heavy vehicles.
How did the accident happen?
According to police and court records, the driver had placed a sunshade on the windshield, which blocked his view of the road. The accident site is a four-lane road that leads to the entrance of Al Rashidiya Metro station. Two lanes are for buses and taxis, while the other two are for cars. There were warning signals 342 metres from the crash site, indicating the right lanes and height requirements for all vehicles. Technical reports showed the driver drove the bus on the second lane from the left - which is meant for cars. He was driving at more than double the speed limit. Although he had driven on the road multiple times, the driver failed to follow the signs and stick to the designated bus lane. He was driving at 94kmph on the road that has a limit of 40kmph, due to which the height restriction barrier tore through the right side of the bus.
Fifteen passengers died on the spot, while two other succumbed to injuries at the hospital.
Who was the driver?
The 53-year-old Omani was a frequent driver on the route.
What were the charges slapped against the driver?
He stood trial on multiple charges, including unintentionally causing the death of 17 passengers; causing physical injuries on 13 others; and causing property damage.
Was the driver found guilty?
Yes, he was found guilty of the charges. He was sentenced to seven years in jail and ordered to pay Dh3.4 million in blood money to the families and heirs of the crash victims. He was also ordered to pay Dh50,000 as fine. The court also ordered in its ruling that the defendant's driving licence be suspended for one year and that he be deported after serving his prison time.
He is currently out on bail.
Who were the victims?
The Oman-registered bus operated by Mwasalat mostly bus mostly had UAE residents returning after an Eid Al Fitr holiday. Of the 17 victims, 12 were Indians, two Pakistanis, an Omani, a Filipino and an Irish.
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