Four Filipino citizens — three men and one woman — were killed in a car crash Friday morning on the Abu Dhabi – Dubai highway in the United Arab Emirates, Gulf News reports.
According to the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs officials, six Filipinos were in a four-wheel drive vehicle traveling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi when their car was hit by another vehicle near Shahama. Four of the passengers in the car died instantly, said Constancio Vingno Jr, the Philippine ambassador to the UAE said.
“Two women were critically injured. They are being treated at an Abu Dhabi hospital,” the envoy said, adding that the embassy was still waiting for an official report from Abu Dhabi Police about the incident.
A senior Abu Dhabi Traffic Police official told Gulf News on Sunday that investigations were underway.
Information gathered from friends and relatives of the victims indicated that the accident took place when the Filipinos got down from their car after a tire burst, at which another car hit them from behind.
“These are the narratives of relatives and friends. We are still waiting for an official report,” the ambassador said. He added that the Philippine embassy in Abu Dhabi is coordinating with the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai to extend all possible help to the victims’ families.
The group was reportedly visting churches across the UAE during the Good Friday.
Paul Raymund P. Cortes, the Philippine Consul General in Dubai, told Gulf News that one of the critically injured women has overcome the critical stage. The other one is still in ICU, he said. The deceased Filipinos, in their 30s, were working in Dubai. Their families are back home.
“Once we contact the families of the victims, we will release their names with their consent,” P. Cortes said.
Eyewitnesses recalled that three cars were at the accident scene. “The cars were damaged by the collision. It seems they were all travelling in the same direction [towards Abu Dhabi] and collided with each other. I was passing the area around 7.30am. I saw bodies covered by white clothes and they were being moved into an ambulance,” he said. “It was a disturbing scene,” said a Pakistani national who wish to remain anonymous.
Ambassador Vingno advised motorists to exercise utmost caution on the road in the event of car breakdown.
“You should try to move the vehicle to shoulder, if possible and switch hazard lights on. You should not stay inside the car in such circumstances.”