DUBAI: Seventeen people died and three others were severely hurt when a bus from Oman met with an accident near Rashidiya exit on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road in Dubai at 5.40pm on Thursday evening.
The Oman national transport, Mwasalat bus transporting passengers between Muscat and Dubai — was travelling along Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road, carrying 31 passengers, when it crashed into a signboard at Al Rashidiya exit at 5.40pm. It is still unclear what caused the driver to crash into the traffic sign, which displayed the maximum height of vehicles allowed to pass beneath it.
In an image released by Dubai Police, the roof of the left side of the bus appeared to have been severely damaged while the right side remained mostly still in tact.
In a statement issued evening, Dubai Police initially said 15 passengers were killed on impact while five others, including the Omani bus driver, in his fifties, were taken to Rashid Hospital to be treated for injuries ranging from “moderate” to “severe”.
An hour later, police said two more passengers, including a woman, died in hospital, increasing the death toll to 17.
Meanwhile, Mwasalat issued a statement on Twitter, offering condolences to the families of those who died and announcing the suspension of their daily E05 services between Muscat and Dubai until further notice. It said the decision to suspend the service, which ran three times a day, was taken in co-ordination with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority.