In the worst accident in the history of the United Arab Emirates [ Images ], at least 22 people were killed on-the-spot and 24 others injured on Monday when a bus carrying Asian labourers collided with a truck carrying construction materials during busy hours.
"Twenty-two people were dead at the scene and the bodies were taken to Al-Ain Hospital. There were 24 others injured, and their injuries ranged from minor and moderate to serious," Brig Gen Hussein Ahmed Al Harthi, director of Abu Dhabi Traffic Police said.
The crash happened on the Old Truck Road (E30), near Al-Ain city, just before 8 am when a bus carrying 46 workers thought to be from a cleaning company collided with a large truck carrying sand and concrete, local media reported.
The identity and nationalities of those killed in the accident have not yet been officially announced.
The truck overturned and landed on the bus when its brakes failed, Harthi said, adding that there wasn't a safe distance between the two vehicles.
Most workers died after suffocating in the pile of sand and construction material, witnesses said. However, this could not be independently verified.
The accident is thought to be the worst in the history of the UAE, The National newspaper reported.
Eleven of the injured were taken to Tawam Hospital and are currently in stable conditions in intensive care units or in surgery, a hospital employee said.
One victim with a severe injury was airlifted to the hospital.
The dead, all of whom were Asians, were taken to Al-Ain Hospital, the report said.
All police units were immediately dispatched to the scene upon receiving the report to rescue victims that were trapped in the bus and to provide first aid to the injured.
Harthi expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased and wished speedy recovery to the injured.