Eight killed in horrific 200-car pileup on Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway

March 11th, 2008 - 11:55 pm ICT by admin  

(Second Lead)
By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, March 11 (IANS) At least eight people were killed and over 280 injured in a 200-car pileup on the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway early Tuesday in dense fog, officials said. At least 25 cars were charred in a series of crashes, which happened in unusually foggy conditions at Ghantoot, 65 km from here, around 6.45 a.m. (8.15 a.m. IST).

Unofficially, the death toll was stated to be much higher, though there was no confirmation.

Zeeshan Javed, who narrowly survived the accident, said he had counted 80 mangled cars.

“There were others that were lying on the road, and still others with injuries waiting to be attended to by the paramedics,” said Imad Eldin, who regularly travels to his workplace in Dubai.

“I have never seen an accident of this magnitude. Some cars that had caught fire were charred beyond recognition. This has to be the worst ever,” Javed said.

Serious casualties have been taken to Al Rahba and Al Mafraq hospitals in Abu Dhabi while other casualties were taken to Rashid Hospital in Dubai.

Police said that because of the bad weather, helicopters were unable to begin airlifting the injured until 11.30 a.m.

Under normal conditions, cars on the eight-lane - four on either side - 165-km stretch between Dubai and Abu Dhabi zip through at a minimum speed of 120 kmph.

Matt, 26, a German national said the scene was chaotic.

“The accident was a combination of fog and people using their hazard lights. I only escaped with a bruise,” he told the Gulf News.

“It was a disaster scene, everyone was speeding and after the first crash happened people just started hitting each other,” Khamis I. Mohammad, deputy of traffic and patrol Abu Dhabi police, said.

“There were six buses carrying labourers, three buses had 50 passengers each.”

It was not immediately known if any Indians or South Asians were among the casualties.

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