Twelve Indians were among 17 people who were killed in a horrific road accident in Dubai when a bus, mostly with Eid vacationers coming from Oman, entered a restricted lane and rammed into a low-clearance sign, police and the Indian mission in Dubai said on Friday.
Nine persons were also seriously injured when the driver of the bus coming from Oman's capital Muscat to Dubai, wrongly entered a road not designated for buses towards Al Rashidiya metro station on Thursday evening.
Dubai Police authorities said that there are still some unidentified bodies and the number of Indians who died in the accident could rise further.
"With great sadness we inform that Indian fatalities in Dubai bus accident have gone up to 12," Vipul, Indian Consul General in Dubai, tweeted.
He said that the embassy officials are at the Rashidiya police station and mortuary to extend all assistance to the families of the victims.
"Our effort now is to get formalities completed soon so that mortal remains can be repatriated soon," he said.
The bus, belonging to the Omani bus transport company Mwasalat, carrying 31 passengers, crashed into a height barrier that cut the left side of the bus and killed passengers sitting on that side, the Gulf News reported.
Dubai Police blamed the Omani driver, who was moderately injured, for the accident, saying "at times a small mistake or negligence can lead to adverse consequences".
Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, now in Bhutan, expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased.
"Deeply grieved by the unfortunate bus accident in Dubai that has claimed 12 Indian lives. My sincere condolences to the families," he tweeted.
The Consul General also released a list of the Indians killed in the accident.
The names of the Indians who passed away are: Vikram Jawahar Thakur, Vimal Kumar Karthikeyan Kesavapilaikar, Kiran Johny Johny Vallithottathil Paily, Firoz Khan Aziz Pathan, Reshma Feroz Khan Pathan, Jamaludeen Arakkaveettil, Vasudev Vishandas, Rajan Puthiyapurayil Gopalan, Prabula Madhavan Deepa Kumar, Roshni Moolchandani, Ummer Chonokatavath Mammad Puthen, Nabil Ummer Chonokatavath.
Vipul said that officers from the consulate are taking all necessary steps to ensure repatriation formalities of all victims are completed as soon as possible.
"Once death certificates are issued, the bodies will be sent for embalming and other procedures," he said.
An official from the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai has confirmed the death of a Pakistani national, Shafeeq. The official said the deceased had travelled to Oman to renew his UAE visa, the Khaleej Times reported.
The Indian Consulate had earlier tweeted that four Indians were discharged after first aid and three are receiving treatment in Rashid Hospital.
The consulate also issued a helpline number- +971-565463903- for any queries related to those travelling on the fated bus.
The Dubai Police too expressed its condolences to the families involved in the accident.
"The General Directorate of Dubai Police extends its sincere condolences to the families of the deceased who were involved in a bus crash at Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, which killed 17 passengers," it said.
Transport company Mwasalat issued a statement on Twitter announcing the suspension of their daily services between Muscat and Dubai and vice versa, until further notice.
"Mwasalat family expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured," it tweeted.