DUBAI: The survivors of the Dubai bus accident which claimed 17 lives, including those of 12 Indians, recounted the horror when their bus, returning from Oman, took a wrong exit and crashed into a road height restriction barrier that fell and ripped through the vehicle.
According to the survivors, there were blood-splattered seats, body parts strewn around and the screams of the victims in the bus after the accident which took place at Al Rashidiya exit in Dubai at 5.40 p.m. on Thursday.
“There was blood everywhere. Most people who were sitting on the left side died on the spot,” Laji, who was sitting on the right side of the vehicle, was quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times.
The tourist bus was carrying 31 passengers of different nationalities who were returning from Oman to Dubai after Eid-ul-Fitr holidays. It took a wrong turn and crashed into the 2.2-metre high barrier. Vehicles above that road restriction cannot travel on the road.
Keralite Nidhin Laji, a survivor who escaped almost unscathed, said: “There was blood everywhere. Most people who were sitting on the left side died on the spot.” The maximum height sign board ripped through the left side of the vehicle, the Khaleej Times reported.
Laji, who was sitting on the right side of the bus, said he heard screams and gasps for breath.
“Blood and flesh were all over the seats as the metal plate scythed through the vehicle.” He slipped through one of the doors as ambulances and police vehicles reached the spot.
Manisha Thakur, whose husband Vikram and cousin Roshni were on the bus, was crying inconsolably at the Al Rashidiya Police Station. The 24-year-old was lucky to be alive as she did not travel with her husband to Oman during the Eid break due to some pending work in Dubai, the Khaleej Times reported.
“I still cannot believe it. I spoke to my husband in the afternoon and he said he was on his way back. I had no idea about the accident until Roshni’s brother called me. I then called the police and was told my husband was no more. I rushed to the police station only to find out that even my cousin was dead. I am devastated,” she said.
In another corner of the police station, a grief-stricken Anoop waited to get the paperwork done for his deceased friend Kiran Johnny.
Zidan Firoz was travelling on the bus with his parents. The Oman residents were to spend the rest of the Eid holidays in Dubai, Gulf News reported.
Firoz’s father died on the spot while his mother died later of her injuries.
The Dubai Police and Mwasalat, the transport company to which the bus belonged, said in their statements that 15 people died on the spot, and 16 were taken to the hospital. Two more died later, increasing the death toll to 17.
Repatriation of Indian victims complete
Repatriation of the bodies was finally completed on Sunday.
The repatriation of 11 Indians was complete with the last three bodies flown to Mumbai on an Air India flight that left from Dubai at 3.39 a.m. on Sunday, an official told Gulf News.
Meanwhile, the family of 22-year-old Roshni Moolchandani, the youngest Indian victim, completed her last rites at the Jebel Ali crematorium on Saturday evening.