At least twelve Indians were among the 17 killed after a tourist bus crashed into a traffic signboard in Dubai, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar confirmed today. Several others, including the bus driver, have been severely injured and are being treated in the city's Rashid Hospital.
"Deeply grieved by the unfortunate bus accident in Dubai that has claimed 12 Indian lives. My sincere condolences to the families," Mr Jaishankar tweeted.
According to the Dubai Police, the bus was travelling from Oman to Dubai with 31 passengers when it crashed into a signboard on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road at around 5:40 p.m. on Thursday.
The image tweeted by the Dubai police shows the roof of the left side of the bus to be severely damaged. The police, however, did not mention what led the driver to crash into the traffic sign.
According to the official list tweeted by the External Affairs Minister, those who died in the crash are Rajan Puthiyapurayil Gopalan, Feroz Khan Pathan, Reshma Feroz Khan Pathan, Jamaludeen Muhamedunni, Kiran Johnny, Roshni Moolchandanai, Prabula Madhavan Deepa Kumar, Vasudev Vishandas, Ummer Chonokatavath, Nabil Ummer Chonokatavath, Vimal Kumar Karthikeyan and Vikram Jawahar Thakur.
The Indian Consulate in Dubai expressed condolences and tweeted helpline numbers to extend support to the families of those who died in the crash:
1/2) We are sorry to inform that as per local authorities and relatives it is so far confirmed that 8 Indians have passed away in Dubai bus accident. Consulate is in touch with relatives of some of the deceased & awaits further details for others to inform their families.— India in Dubai (@cgidubai) June 6, 2019
2/2) We will update the exact details as soon as they become available from local authorities. Our officers are in Rashid Hospital, Dubai to extend assistance. Any queries could be addressed to our officer Mr Sanjeev Kumar, Mob +971-504565441or on our helpline +971-565463903.— India in Dubai (@cgidubai) June 6, 2019
The bus company Mwasalat, owned by Oman government, cancelled its trips on Muscat-Dubai route till further notice.
In its statement, the bus company said, "Mwasalat has paid great attention to the incident immediately on receipt of the news and has been in direct contact with the competent authorities in Dubai to look into the incident."
Dubai Police Chief Abdullah Al Marri called on drivers to always be alert while driving.
"Sometimes a simple error or negligence during driving leads to serious consequences, as happened this evening, and resulted in the deaths of 17 people of different nationalities," he said.