Oman accident: Questions trail tragic Ibri crash

Oman Tuesday 01/March/2016 22:04 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman accident: Questions trail tragic Ibri crash

Muscat: Seventeen hours after the Tuesday’s tragic accident, which claimed 18 lives so far, police officials and trailer company officials were collecting and clearing goods from the mangled vehicles. “Don’t know when it will be over. It’s been going on since morning,” trailer company officials told the Times of Oman.
“No idea how the accident happened. The driver from Pakistan was alone in the trailer cabin,” company officials added.
The accident had occurred near Fahud, some 95 km from Ibri.
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According to the police officials at the accident scene, the trailer was heading for Salalah and the GTC bus was going to Dubai from Salalah.
However, the officials were not clear as to how the car had crashed into the trailer and the bus. An official from the GTC Salalah’s office confirmed that the bus was heading to Dubai with passengers.
Meanwhile, the police had tweeted about the accident at around 7 am itself, stating that 18 persons had died and 16 had suffered serious injuries.
Earlier in the morning there were rumours that the accident victims were workers from Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).
However, at around 10 am, the PDO officially dispelled rumours stating that none of the victims belonged to PDO. In a statement, PDO said that it was assisting in the rescue operations.
Meanwhile, hospital sources in Ibri said that nine bodies were being kept in the mortuary and five persons were undergoing treatment in the ICU and surgical ward.
In a tweet, the hospital stated that 22 persons had been admitted to the hospital following the accident. Two Pakistani nationals in the Ibri hospital had confirmed the death of two fellow nationals.
“My brother has died. He was coming from Salalah to join a company in Wadi Latham. I came to know about the accident this morning,” Fardhan Ali, the brother of the victim, said.
Mohammed, a friend of the other Pakistani accident victim, was also waiting to receive the body.
A company official said both the Pakistani workers, who lost their lives in the accident, belonged to their company.
“News of the accident spread like fire. In the morning many people were seen rushing to the hospital. We went to the hospital to donate blood if needed. However, there was no scarcity of blood. So, we returned,” Thampan and his friends said.
Medics at Ibri hospital said that among the deceased were one Yemeni and one Chinese national. “Still, we are not clear of the nationalities of the others since all their identity cards are missing,” the medics added.
Out of the 22, nine succumbed to injuries and 13 were said to be undergoing treatment.
Meanwhile, Nizwa hospital officials said that the bodies of six victims were being kept in the mortuary and two were still in the ICU.
“Out of the six, two are from GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), two from Oman and two are unknown,” the Nizwa hospital’s PRO said.
“One injured Omani has been shifted to Khoula hospital,” the PRO added.
A medic from the Bahla hospital said three bodies were kept in the hospital’s mortuary.
“One is an Omani and two are from other GCC countries,” the medic added.
According to the police statement, the deceased are six Omanis nationals, four Saudi nationals, two Pakistanis and one Yemeni.
“Nationalities of five others are yet to be identified,” according to Said bin Hilal Al Daoudi, assistant director of the Royal Oman Police (ROP).
According to the police official, the ROP had moved swiftly into rescue operations with support teams from Muscat and police helicopters were used to airlift injured passengers to hospitals in Ibri, Nizwa, Bahla and clinics belonging to oil companies and health centres.
The rescue operation was conducted with the support of PDO, and other companies operating in the area and Omani citizens.
“Our units in Fahud assisted the rescue operations. Many were treated at our Fahud clinic,” PDO said in a statement.

To get in touch: reji@timesofoman.com / mobinmathew@timesofoman.com