A bus crash in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, has left 22 passengers dead and 24 others injured.
According to Xinhua News, the bus collided with a truck in Al Ain on Monday morning, January 4. It was carrying migrant workers from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, traveling to the Emirates for cleaning jobs.
16 commuters are listed as Bangladeshi residents, one has Indian citizenship while the others are Pakistani. 40 passengers were on the bus at the time it smashed into the freight-forwarding vehicle.
Preliminary reports indicate that problems with the truck's brakes have been registered. A second factor in the crash is the distance between the two motorists on the roadway.
The accident is attributed to “the deviation of the truck from its route and collision with the bus as there were no brakes in the truck,” says Hussein Ahmed al-Harthi, heading the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrol Directorate.
“There was also no sufficient distance between the truck and the bus. [...] The victims were transferred to nearby hospitals,” al-Harthi adds.
Gulf News writes that the incident occurred at 7.45 am, when the truck carrying sand and construction material swerved and possibly spilled some of its cargo.
It is believed that some of the commuters have been caught underneath piles of sand and debris, suffocating until extracted.
Indian Ambassador to Abu Dhabi M.K. Lokesh has dispatched officials to the crash site, as have the Bangladeshi and Pakistani embassies.
“Initial information suggests that a few Bangladeshis are among the dead but we still await the confirmation. [...] Our officials have gone to Al Ain,” states Mohammad Nazmul Quanine, Bangladeshi Ambassador to the UAE.
“Our community welfare Attaché has been tasked to coordinate with the local authorities in this regard,” adds Pakistani ambassador Jamil Ahmad Khan.