NEWS FROM THE U.A.E.
Excerpts from UAE Dailies
Bodies of six Chinese to be cremated
Dubai - Dec. 17:The bodies of six Chinese workers who perished in the emirate's worst accident in years will be cremated in Dubai according to Chinese tradition and their ashes sent to their families, said a representative from their company.
The CSEC Middle East official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Gulf News that the company was making arrangements with a UAE-based company which deals with cremations.
He added that the procedure would take place as soon as the police concluded their investigations into Thursday's accident, which killed nine people.
Three bus crash victims still in critical condition
Dubai - Dec. 17: A few victims of Thursday's horrific accident continue to improve, with one no longer critical and some already eager to leave the hospital, while others' conditions remain unchanged.
Rashid Hospital Trauma Centre treated 69 cases, all victims of a fatal crash between a bus carrying workers from a Chinese construction company, CSEC Middle East, and a minibus carrying workers from a shipping company on Thursday on Shaikh Zayed Road. Nine people, including the driver of the minibus, were killed. Four were admitted to the Trauma Centre's Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), while 19 suffered moderate injuries.
On-duty doctors at the SICU told Gulf News that three cases in the unit, all Indians, remain in critical condition and were breathing through a tube.
Dr Hesham Al Khouly, a doctor at the SICU, said it was too soon to assess their chances of recovery and the extent of the damage.
"As long as they are still sedated and on the ventilator, we cannot say whether they have improved or deteriorated," he said.
He added that two still had to undergo surgery to correct their spines.
The fourth case, however, a Chinese man, has improved enough to be moved to the general ward yesterday.
"He's conscious, but we're having problems communicating with him because of the language barrier," said Dr Dina Adeeb, anesthesiologist at the unit.
When Gulf News visited him, he was breathing on his own but asleep.
Other victims of the accident, who suffered fewer injuries, are looking forward to leaving the hospital.
"I haven't thought as far as going home. I want to get better first," said Wang M.Q. through an interpreter.
The 42-year-old CSEC Middle East employee, who sustained injuries to his limbs and soft tissue, added he still had some pain in his midsection.
Dead workers' rights to be assessed
Dubai - Dec. 17: The legal rights of the workers who died in Thursday's horrific accident will be assessed by the Ministry of Labour, said a senior labour official yesterday.
Six China State Engineering Corporate CSEC-Middle East employees died in the bus accident on Shaikh Zayed Road.
The labour relations department at the ministry will demand a report on the status of the workers from the company employed following which possible compensation for those affected by the accident will be considered.
"As there is no clear provision in the labour law stipulating compensation for workers involved in an accident while on their way to work, legal advisers have to assess each case and decide upon that," said Humaid Bin Deemas, Assistant undersecretary at the ministry.
"However, if the workers prove eligible for compensation, the company management will be held accountable for paying their dues as per the labour law and any agreement which the company has with the transportation company is their own business, which the ministry will not get involved in," according to Bin Deemas.
On the other hand, Wang, HR-manager of CSEC-Middle East, said that the management will ensure that the transportation company pays the victims and their families insurance and compensation. "We are waiting for the final police and medical reports in order to process the insurance and compensation papers and the transport company has already promised to adhere to what the law stipulates," said Wang.
"If the transport company refuses to pay or if the victims' entitlements are not fully realised, the CSEC- Middle East is ready to take the company to court.
"We will do whatever is required to protect our workers and we will support them through the whole process. Our company will fight for whatever compensation our workers are entitled to under the UAE law," said Wang.
The head office in China has already contacted the victims' families there and provided all the support and the company will also pay compensation if it is required by the law, assured Wang.
Dubai Tragedy: Nine Killed in Sh Zayed Road Accident
Taxi driver held for speeding to drop off crying babies
Ras Al Khaimah - Dec. 17: A Pakistani taxi driver was detained by police for driving dangerously to get rid of passengers whose infants were crying endlessly.
The Police detained the driver and seized his vehicle after three national women filed a complaint against him that he also shouted at them to keep their babies quiet.
A senior officer from the Police Operations Department said the 30-year-old driver identified as B.S. became upset by the wailing of two infants with the three women and drove his vehicle recklessly at high speed to take the women and their children to their destination as fast as possible.
The women stated in their police report that the driver asked them several times to keep the babies quiet because their continuous crying was making him distraught, but the women were not able to calm the infants.
The driver confessed to having increased speed to complete his trip with the women, and that he tried to drop off the women earlier, telling them they need not pay the fare, but they refused and instructed him to drive them all the way to their destination.
The police accused the taxi driver of speeding and dangerous driving that put the lives of the women and their children at risk.
Many streets still under rain water
SHARJAH — Dec. 17:Commercial and business areas in Sharjah Industrial Area continue to be hit by knee-high pools of stagnant water following the recent rains.
The owners of commercial establishments complained that their cars still continued to wade through accumulated rain water in several parts of the industrial area and their customers are finding it to difficult to reach their premises.
Several people have to walk through water pools to reach out to their cars in the the parking lots located in the vicinity.
A source from Ramez Trading said there has been a drop in the number of customers to the store because of the stagnant water pools in the vicinity.
“People found it difficult to reach the outlet as water and murky patches are all around the place. Our business has seen a drop of almost 50 per cent on Friday,” the source said.
Furniture outlets like Royal and others located in the industrial area also complained about low turnout of customers due to muddy water pools around their showrooms. Also loading and unloading of furniture has become very difficult because of knee-high water pools.
An official of Royal Furniture said customers are not purchasing any item for the simple reason that they find it difficult to take it to the cars parked at a distance.
“We have requested the municipality to take action quickly and have consideration for the losses incurred by us over the last few days,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Al Nour Attia who usually shops at Ramez Trading said: “The condition is unbearable because the water and mud pools stop my car and we cannot reach the shop easily. I wonder when will this mess be cleaned to make life easy for us.”
Abdullah Al Ramahi appreciated the Sharjah municipality for efforts to drain out the water pools in the emirate but he said the priority should be given to crowded and commercial areas so as to allow easy access for the customers.
Abdullah Al Amri, Director General of the Sharjah Municipality, told Khaleej Times: “The Sharjah Municipality is taking necessary measures to solve the water-logging problems in several parts of the emirate. Last week’s heavy rains have wreaked havoc and affected the drainage system. Municipal workers are trying to repair the sewage pipes and also carry out water suction.”