A horrific minibus accident on Dubai's Mohammed Bin Zayed Road killed eight Asian expats, including the driver, and injured six others on Monday.
The director of the Dubai Police Traffic Department, Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, confirmed that the minibus crashed into the back of a parked truck on the right side of the road and was trapped under it.
"Eight were killed, two seriously injured and two others sustained moderate injuries. All were transferred to Rashid Hospital," he explained to Gulf News.
The minibus was carrying 13 passengers, excluding the driver, which reveals an incredibly high death toll.
The bodies of the victims were transferred to a mortuary at Rashid hospital, while those injured to emergency rooms. Dubai-based social worker Nasir Vatanapally said authorities have yet to release the names of victims but did confirm their nationalities.
"Police haven't still revealed the named [sic] and details of the victims, but according to them, there are Pakistanis and Indians involved in the accident," he told Gulf News.
Further reports stated that the victims were of Nepalese, Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi descent. Local authorities have since said that an investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the accident.
Minibus accidents are all too common in Dubai
Statistics released by Dubai Police revealed that "minibuses caused 34 traffic accidents in the first eight months of 2019." These incidents left one person dead and over 48 others injured. In the same period last year, 35 minibus accidents were recorded in the emirate, resulting in 12 deaths and 87 injuries.
Local traffic safety advocates have been trying to ban minibuses since 2013 and only succeeded this year. Amid the rise in accidents involving the transport vehicles, the emirate's Federal Traffic Council announced plans to phase out minibuses across Dubai in May.
At the time, authorities said that schools will not be allowed to use minibuses to transport students by September 2021, while a complete ban on all passenger minibuses will take effect as of January 2023.
Not the first tragic road accident to claim lives in Dubai this year
In June, a bus routinely traveling back and forth between Oman and the UAE crashed in Dubai, killing 17 passengers and resulting in the injury of 13 others.
The bus crashed into a height barrier at Al Rashidiya exit towards the metro station on Mohammed Bin Zayed Road in the emirate.
The devastating death toll led to the legal prosecution of the Omani driver. His case continues to move back and forth through the country's legal system.