Families broken after 17 die in Dubai bus crash
Dubai: Reclining in his seat on the bus, Zidan Firoz was watching the skyline as he, along with his parents, were just a few minutes away from reaching the bus station on Thursday evening. The Oman residents were to spend the rest of the Eid holidays in Dubai.
Little did the 19-year-old know that their journey would end in a horrific manner and that his parents would depart for another world as the ill-fated bus crashed into a height barrier on a wrong road taken by the bus driver.
Firoz’s parents were among the 12 Indians that the Indian Consulate in Dubai identified as dead in the crash that killed a total of 17 passengers on the Muscat-Dubai daily bus service by Omani National Transport Company Mwasalat.
The impact of the crash on passengers sitting on the left side of the bus led to them being smashed against the metal barrier, and Zidan’s father Firoz Khan died on the spot. Still shaken by the terrible jolt, Zidan felt his heavily injured mother, Reshma Firoz, still breathing and tried to pull her out of the wreckage. Unfortunately, she also could not make it.
Father, son among victims
While Zidan lost his parents, there was a father-son duo, who also died in the accident.
Ummer Chonokadavath, 65, and his son Nabil Ummer, 25, were among the victims.
“They had to gone to Oman to celebrate Eid with his (Ummer’s) daughter’s family,” a relative told Gulf News.
They hailed from Thalassery in the south Indian state of Kerala.
Victims Deepa Kumar, Jamaludeen Muhammedunni Arakkaveettil, Vimal Kumar Karthikeyan, Kiran Johny and Rajan Puthiyapurayil Gopalan, were also all from Kerala.
Other Indian victims identified by the consulate include Vasudev Vishnudas, Vikram Jawahar Thakur and Roshni Moolchandani.
Wife, child unaware of man’s death
Deepa Kumar, an accountant with Century Mechanical Systems Manufacturing Company, along with her family, had also gone to spend Eid holidays with a cousin in Oman, one of his relatives told Gulf News.
His wife Athira, a former constable with Indo-Tibetan Border Police, and four-year-old daughter Athulya, a KG-1 student in Our Own School Sharjah, sustained minor injuries and were under treatment in Rashid Hospital till Friday afternoon. Relatives who were taking care of them said the news of Deepa Kumar’s death had not been broken to his wife and child. “We are waiting for the formalities to be completed to repatriate his mortal remains. Once that is done, we will have to break the news to them and fly them back home,” said one of the relatives.
Basil, a friend of Kiran Johny, said the engineer from Kerala had come over to the UAE in December last year. “I don’t think he had gone to Muscat. What I heard is that he boarded the bus en route to come to Dubai.”
Jamaludeen, who was working for a media firm, was active in community work in Dubai, his friends said. He had gone to Oman to visit his friend during Eid. He had posted a selfie with his friend just before he boarded the ill-fated bus, his friends said.