Dubai, Jun 7: In a tragic turn of events on Thursday, a Muscat-Dubai bus, packed with revelers returning after Eid-ul-Fitr festivities, rammed into a traffic signal near a metro station here, killing 17 persons, including 12 Indians, Consul General of India to Dubai Vipul said.
"We have confirmed 12 Indian deaths in total," Mr Vipul told the Khaleej Times. "Our teams have been working with the respective Dubai government departments to ensure paperwork is completed as soon as possible."
Department of non-resident Keralite Affairs sources said the dead Indians were identified as Ummer Chonnakadava, Nabil Ummer Chonokatavath, Rajan Puthiyapurayil Gopalan, Feroz Khan Pathan, Reshma Feroz Khan Pathan, Jamaludeen Muhamedunni, Kiran Johnny, Roshni Moolchandani, Prabula Madhavan, Deepa Kumar, Vasudev Vishandas, Vimal Kumar Karthikeyan and Vikram Jawahar Thakur.
In Thiruvananthapuram, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said steps were being taken to bring back the bodies of the victims.
The Minister told media that six of the dead were from various parts of Kerala.
Mr Muraleedharan said that several others, including severely injured, were being treated in the Rashid Hospital in Dubai.
Driver lost control
Local media reported that the driver lost control of the bus which rammed the traffic signal near the Rashidiya metro station on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed
Road in Dubai.
Repatriation of bodies was expected to commence by tomorrow.
Two persons were still being treated at the hospital and six could not be identified due to their severe injuries.
The bodies were kept in the Dubai Police Forensics Department.
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar expressed his condolences, "Deeply grieved by the unfortunate bus accident in Dubai that has claimed 12 Indian lives. My sincere condolences to the families. Our Consulate is extending all help."
Dubai Police, in a tweet, confirmed that the accident took place when the bus carrying 31 people overran a traffic signal near the metro station. The police said 17 people of different nationalities had died in the accident while five sustained grievous injuries.
Bus service suspended
More than half of the passengers were Oman-registered citizens returning after the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.
Police said an investigation into the cause of the "unfortunate incident" was underway.
The Oman government-owned bus company announced the suspension of their daily E05 services between Muscat and Dubai until further notice. It said the decision to suspend the service, which ran three times a day, was taken in coordination with Dubai's Road and Transport Authority.
Dubai Police Chief Maj Gen Abdullah Al Marri termed the crash as a "tragic incident that led to the death of innocent people."
Though the cause of the accident has not yet been made known, he called on motorists to always be vigilant while driving. An emergency help desk had been opened at the Consulate General here to help the relatives of the victims.