Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Colleagues face grim task of identifying bus crash victims

Colleagues of four Bangladeshi workers killed in Saturday’s bus crash in Dubai said they may have to identify the bodies.

The accident on Emirates Road also killed nine Indian workers and injured more than a dozen others travelling in the bus that hit a parked truck.

Only three workers — all Bangladeshi — remain in hospital, said an official from the Bangladeshi consulate in Dubai.

They are stable and recovering, he said.

The workers live in Umm Al Quwain and work mostly in Dubai.

They said some of them may be transported to Dubai on Wednesday to identify the bodies of the dead Bangladeshis.

According to survivors of the crash – and purported pictures of the accident aftermath – some of the victims’ faces have been left badly disfigured.

Worker Mohammad Babul said a number of roommates of the deceased and a relative of two accident victims may be among those identifying the bodies.

“We will have to identify them using other ways as well, not just by faces. The accident was so bad some victims’ faces are beyond recognition,” Babul said.

“One victim was 42-43 years old. Another was 32 and fat. A third was 22 and kind of fair. The fourth was short and of dark complexion.”

Babul said “we got a call from the company office to be ready early morning on Wednesday as we have to go to Dubai for this.”

Another worker, Mohammad Atiullah, also said some workers may be going for the grim task.

Meanwhile, according to the workers, their company’s “owner” visited them in Umm Al Quwain on Monday night for the first time after the accident.

He was reportedly held for questioning before his release on Monday, a company representative had said.

The representative could not be reached for an immediate comment on Tuesday.

The workers said the owner, said to be an Indian expat, promised to ensure their rights.

Babul said: “He said the management will fight for the injured and victims’ rights, saying they are following up with insurance companies. He said not one fils of any outstanding wages will be held back.

“He also said they are working day and night with local authorities and the Indian and Bangladeshi consulate or embassy to have the bodies sent home as soon as possible.”

Babul added that the owner was flanked by a manager and legal advisor.

“We were told that the company is looking to house us closer to work in Dubai or even in Sharjah.”

Their long daily drive from Umm Al Quwain to Dubai and back left them with little rest or leisure time, workers said.

“It was hard for the driver also, he may have fallen asleep when the bus crashed,” said a survivor.

Survivors earlier said they are not sure what led to the early morning accident as almost all the nearly 30 workers were asleep in the bus at the time.

Meanwhile, the workers have not been to work since Saturday.

“The owner said those of us who can, should return to work. Some of us were too disturbed by the tragedy,” Atiullah said.

Wednesday 14 May 2014


Post a Comment