Dubai bus crash: driver to serve 7-year-jail, pay Dh200,000 blood money to each victim

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Dubai bus crash

Staff Report

The families of each of the 17 victims who were killed in the Dubai bus crash will be paid blood money of Dh200,000, the UAE’s top court has ruled.

The Omani bus driver, who is responsible for the crash into a road barrier in Dubai, was sentenced to 7-years in jail by the court after he was found guilty. He will be deported after serving the sentence.

Earlier, the bus driver has admitted to committing a mistake that led to the accident.

There were 30 passengers on the tourist bus that travelled from Oman to Dubai on June 6, at the tail end of the Eid Al Fitr holiday. Just a few minutes before it was supposed to reach its stop, the bus rammed into a road height restriction barrier that ripped through the left side of the vehicle.

Fifteen passengers died on the spot, and the others were rushed to the hospital, according to earlier reports. Two more died later, raising the total death toll to 17.

A day before, the lawyer of the Omani bus driver – who is accused of causing the crash that left 17 people dead – argued that the height restriction barrier that tore through the vehicle violated GCC guidelines and standards.
Defence lawyer Mohammed Saif Al Tamimi told the traffic prosecution that the barrier was inappropriately installed and did not meet certain requirements.

“The GCC guideline stated that if a road’s speed limit is 60kph, the distance between a warning signboard and a height restriction barrier should be 60 metres,” Al Tamimi told the court.

At the accident site, however, the distance was just 12 metres, he said. He also pointed out that according to the standards, the barrier should have been “mobile and made of concrete or other materials, but not steel”.

The defence team proposed that the court assign a team of experts from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to evaluate the crash site and map out the positions of the warning signs and the barrier.

Based on the prosecution’s investigation, warning signals were located 342 metres from the crash site, indicating the right lanes and height requirements for all vehicles.

In addition, two big signboards were put up to remind motorists to stick to the appropriate lanes, according to the probe. One of the boards is located 317 metres from the site, while the other is found just before the barrier.

The 53-year-old defendant has been accused of causing the death of 17 people on the bus that travelled from Muscat to Dubai on June 6. Just a few minutes before it was supposed to reach its stop, the bus rammed into the road height restriction barrier that ripped through the left side of the vehicle. Fifteen passengers were killed on the spot and two more died later.