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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Worker dies as manhole collapses; four wounded

AJMAN — APRIL 16: An Indian worker died and four others were injured when the wall of a manhole caved in on them in an under-construction building near the the Civil Defence Department in Mushrif Area in Ajman yesterday.

The workers were carrying out plastering work inside the manhole when the mishap happened.

While the 40-year-old Indian from Chennai, an employee of the Al Shulla Contracting Company, died on the spot, three others, all Egyptians, sustained serious injuries. Another Indian worker received minor injuries, police sources said.

The Ajman Police and Civil Defence teams rushed to the site and took the injured labourers to Khalifa Hospital.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Brigadier Mohammed Ali Jumaira, Head of fire stations and rescue at Ajman Civil Defence, said the workers were saved by removing the manhole. The rescue operation was witnessed by Shaikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Department of Municipality and Planning, and several top officials of the Municipality.

Doctors at the Khalifa Hospital said the condition of the three Egyptians who had sustained multiple fractures on their back and legs, was stable and they could be discharged from the hospital in a few days.

Commenting on the accident, Saif Salim Al Shamsi, Deputy Director of Ajman Municipality, said the contracting company was found guilty of failing to abide by the safety regulations at its work site.

The workers were not wearing protection helmets while carrying out their job, he noted, while adding that a full-scale investigation into the exact cause of the accident would be launched.

Hamad Al Shamsi, Director-General of Khalifa Hospital, said the accident had once again brought into focus the issue of occupational health and safety.


Armed robbery at jewellery shop in Dubai

DUBAI — APRIL 16: Around eight armed robbers crashed two cars into a jewellery outlet in Wafi mall last night and made away with cash and valuables, police sources said. The value of the booty is yet to be ascertained.

The details of the daring armed robbery, including causalities if any, are not yet known. Police rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. The left side entrance of the jewellery shop glass was seen broken. Police evacuated the visitors of the mall and closed all the shops immediately after the incident. It was not clear what kind of vehicles the robbers used to smash the doors to get inside. The robbers reportedly carried rifles, said eyewitnesses.

Eyewitnesses said the robbers drove two cars into the mall and rammed into the jewellery shop and jumped into the shop with rifles. “When I heard the noise of cars smashing against the shop doors, I thought it was an explosion. But later I came to know it was robbery,” an eyewitness told Khaleej Times. Police immediately cordoned off the area and collected finger prints from the shop,” he added.


Gang of car-thieves busted

DUBAI — APRIL 16: An international gang of car thieves was busted on Friday by Dubai Customs who confiscated two containers loaded with two stolen cars before they could be shipped out to Poland.

The cars, a BMW and a Porsche, were owned by a car rental company in Sharjah.

A senior official at Dubai Customs said the containers were seized following a tip-off by the Sharjah Police. He added that an international racket was behind the theft of these cars and efforts were on to nail the culprits.

The latest seizure of stolen cars follows a trend wherein vehicles are taken on rent, mostly from rental companies in Sharjah, and never returned.

Yousuf Jamal, the owner of Solo Rent, a car rental company in Sharjah, cited the instance of a Pakistani man who had earlier taken a Porsche and a BMW car from the company on rent and vanished.

However, following advance technology used by the car rental companies to monitor the location of their cars, the stolen vehicles were located in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Industrial Area in Sharjah.

The Sharjah Police rushed to the site and found a number of stolen cars in a workshop owned by an unidentified Russian national.

Similarly, seven vehicles were stolen from Jamal’s company in 2003 by an African gang. Jamal believes the cars have all been shipped outside.

In October 2006, the Dubai Police had nabbed a three-member gang, who had stolen over 22 vehicles from a number of car rental outlets in the emirate. The police had managed to seize parts of the stolen cars at the port before being they could be shipped out.

According to Sultan Al Hosani, owner  of Al Sayarat Al Aneeqa car rental company in Sharjah, some 20 vehicles, with total worth around Dh10 million, have been stolen from the emirate in the recent past.

A police official from Al Gharb confirmed having received several complaints against people failing to return the rent-a-car vehicles they had hired.

Al Hosani disclosed that on March 10 this year, a Pakistani national, A. A, who was a regular customer of theirs, approached the office to hire a number of cars for his clients.

“He submitted all necessary documents, including copies of passports, trade licence and credit card details. So we rented out five luxury cars valued at Dh3 million. But A.A failed to return. Nor was he answering our calls,” he said.

“Since my company uses advance technology, we managed to trace the locations of two of the stolen vehicles to a car workshop in Sharjah,” Hosani said, adding, that the Sharjah police were immediately informed. The police raided the workshop and arrested a number of workers.

The arrested workers had admitted to opening the cars into its parts for shipping them to other countries.


Boy recovering after fall from eighth floor

SHARJAH – APRIL 16: The two-year-old Pakistani boy, Harris, who was critically injured in a tragic incident when his mother pushed him out of a window in their eighth floor flat in order to save him from a fire, is showing signs of recovery, his parents have said.

However, he still remains traumatised, said his mother, Zebunnisa, while speaking to Khaleej Times at Al Qassimi Hospital yesterday. “He is a lively boy, but because of the trauma, he has stopped communicating with us.”

“Our visit visa is expiring on April 27 and the formalities will take a long time. We do not know what to do,” she added.

“We are being told by the authorities that we have to lodge an FIR with the police and then take it to the Pakistan Consulate.”

Harris will be discharged from hospital after six days, say doctors. “He is well on the way to recovery and is eating well,” one of them said.


Five-yr-old girl shifted to CCU

SHARJAH — APRIL 16: The five-year-old Bangladeshi girl Ayesha, one of the suspected victims of food poisoning, was shifted to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) in Al Qasimi Hospital yesterday after her condition become critical.

Her younger sister, three-year-old Khadeeja, had died of suspected food poisoning yesterday.

The six-member family of businessman Mohammed Mijanour was rushed to hospital after suffering bouts of vomiting, diarrhoea and excessive sweating, after they consumed food bought from a restaurant.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, 27-year-old Salma, the mother of Ayesha, said that whole family fell sick after eating food, including brain masala, biryani and meat kebabs from Pak Ghazi Restaurant during a night out.

Salma’s two other children, six-year-old Fatima and one-year-old Salman have been declared out of danger by the doctors at Al Qasimi Hospital.

Dr Arif Nooryani, Deputy Medical Director at Al Qassimi Hospital, confirmed that while Ayesha had been shifted to the CCU with a suspected food poisoning, the condition of the rest of the family remained stable.

“There are different types of food poisoning due to which toxins are produced. The toxins travel through the blood and affect different body organs. The toxins could probably have affected the child’s heart,” Dr Nooryani explained  Among the surviving family members, Ayesha and her father were still in serious conditions, Dr Nooryani informed.

Dr Nooryani said investigations were still being carried out to find out the suspected cause.

“A post-mortem will be carried out on Khadeeja’s body to find out the real cause of the family’s illness. It is too early to say anything else,” he explained.

Lab report awaited

— The Head of Health Section at Sharjah Municipality, Mohammed Omar Bannai, said no action would be taken against the Pak Ghazi Restaurant until reports confirmed the family had suffered food poisoning after eating food from the outlet.

“At present, the Sharjah Central Food Laboratory is carrying out tests on samples collected from the restaurant today. We are also awaiting post-mortem reports to be submitted by the Forensic Laboratory of Sharjah Police. Only then we can take any action,” he explained.

He also said that the 10 new emergency lines had been added to the municipality’s hotline. “We receive calls 24 hours a day and respond immediately. In this case, we did not receive any call immediately,” added Bannai.

The owner of Pak Ghazi Restaurant, Khadim Hussain Ghazi, said, “I have been in the business for the past 40 years. Every Friday, I have over 3,000 people eating from my outlet. No one has ever reported any such incidence all these years. Only the municipality’s report will clear the name of my restaurant.”


Trained wardens will help people on Metro

DUBAI — APRIL 16: To ensure that all commuters, especially those with special needs, travel comfortably, trained wardens will direct and escort people wherever necessary on Dubai Metro.

“After in-depth studies, plans are being put in place to deal with emergencies,” a senior official of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has said.

Dubai Metro is designed to provide safety, speed and comfort, and has been benchmarked to the Metro systems in Hong Kong, Copenhagen, Paris and Singapore.

Abdulredha Abu Al Hassan, Director of Planning and Design at the Rail Agency, RTA, said: “Optimum care has been taken to design the tunnel and station ventilation whereby the air quality is being tested by using the most advanced technology. This is being done to ensure that the air is clean and free from any dust or pollution. Cooling systems have been designed for the station boxes and a special type of air-conditioning will treat humidity, high temperatures, and other dusty weather conditions ensuring compliance with international standards.”

The official added that the RTA had developed a “Barrier Free Access System” to make the Dubai Metro accessible to all, including those with physical impairment.

“Lifts will be available at station entrances, at concourses and platforms. The lifts will accommodate 17 people at all levels, and will have clear signs, both audio and visual. All the escalators will have warning signs, and direction-indicator lights. Tactile Guidance Path laid on the floor is to assist those with visual impairment from the entrance to the platform.”

“Wide fare gates and automatic fare collection systems will help those on wheel chairs to commute easily. Ticket counters will be within a wheel chair’s reach and the windows will have speech holes, perforated glazing and voice amplifiers,” explained the official.

He also said that platform screen doors (PSD) would have audible beeps as the doors close to alarm those with visual impairment.

Light Emitting Diods (LED) signals will flash as the doors close for those with hearing impairment. Flashing PSD lights will function to notify door failed warnings.

“While visual and audio announcements will be available inside the train, priority seats will be available for the elderly and people with impairments,” he added.

The other unique features of Dubai Metro will include air-conditioning provision at all elevated railway station concourses and platforms, and the provision of wash rooms and toilets in the station paid areas. All foot bridges will be air-conditioned too and equipped with modern travellators.


Prices unaffected by ban on poultry import

ABU DHABI — APRIL 16: The ban on import of poultry products, mainly from neighbouring suppliers like Saudi Arabia and Oman, have had no impact on the prices in the local market, said Dr Rasheed Dafallah, Member of the Poultry Producers’ Association. The six major and eight medium to small poultry farms in the country produce around 40 million kilogramme of chicken every year, Dafallah pointed out.

“The shortage of poultry in the local market is being covered by the import of frozen chicken from Brazil,” he said. Dafallah stressed the poultry prices in the local market were stable, ranging between Dh11 and Dh11.5 for one kg of chicken in the shopping centres and supermarkets, and between Dh10.5 and Dh11 in the wholesale market.


Salons told to withdraw hike

ABU DHABI — APRIL 16: The Consumer Protection Section at the Planning and economy Department in Abu Dhabi has asked 80 per cent of hair dressing salons in the capital to withdraw their decision to increase rates as they had failed to justify any hike, Ahmed Rashid Al Mansouri, head of the Consumer Protection, told Khaleej Times.

Action was taken following many complaints were received from customers about a 100 per cent increase in charges by the barber shops in the city. The department investigated the complaints, and asked the parlours to give justification for the price rise, but only 20 per cent of them could justify increase in their rates. Al Mansouri said no price hike should be levied without acceptable reasons. He asked the public not to accept any increase in charges for hair cutting service. The department advised people to lodge their complaints immediately to the department.


Curbs on medical professionals

ABU DHABI — APRIL 16: The Abu Dhabi Health Authority (ADHA) has said that it would not offer jobs to physicians, consultants, technicians, nurses or pharmacists employed by the private sector hospitals. According to the new decision, medical professionals whose contracts are still valid with the private sector hospitals will not be offered jobs by hospitals or other health institutions run by the government-owned ADHA.

Dr Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazroui, ADHA Chairman, yesterday issued a circular to various health institutions to implement the decision with immediate effect. The move is a shot in the arm for the private sector health facilities, the statement said.



Dubai - April 16: Police and rescue services have urged people not to go into the sea when red danger flags are flying after a series of incidents involving swimmers. The sea around Dubai is known for becoming treacherous in windy weather with high waves and strong undercurrents. Now Captain Yehia Hussain, head of the Sea Rescue Department in Dubai, has reiterated the warnings after one person drowned and 25 others were rescued in stormy seas at the weekend.

He told 7DAYS many of the problems were caused by beachgoers ignoring the safety warnings on the shoreline. He said: “Most of the near drownings happened because people ignored the red danger flags warning people not to venture into the sea. Many of these people could not swim at all and got into serious difficulties.” Captain Hussain urged residents and tourists alike to take care when bathing and said non-swimmers should not enter the sea, especially at night. “These incidents are far too frequent. People are risking their lives and those of the rescuers while disturbing those enjoying themselves on the beach,” he added. Frantic rescue attempts were repeated time after time at the weekend after weak swimmers were pulled out of their depth at Umm Suqeim Beach - despite red flags warning people not to go in the sea.

Early yesterday the body of a 30-year-old Egyptian expat washed up on shore close to the Burj Al Arab hotel after he was pulled under the waves on Friday. “Unfortunately we lost one who we could not rescue,” said Captain Hussain. “We could not find his body until it was washed up yesterday morning.” Last year five people drowned in the sea around Dubai, the same as in 2005. The previous year 15 drowned. A Dubai Municipality official also warned people to stay out of the sea at night saying there are no lifeguards on duty and the currents and winds can be different to those experienced during the day causing dangerous conditions. A senior police officer said people swimming at night can be arrested if they refuse to follow an officer’s instructions to get out of the water.


Stolen car may be in Jebel Ali container 
Owner of one of the rented cars, which was part of the Dh 10 million car scam lodges complaint with Dubai Police, after tracking it down

DUBAI - APRIL 16: One of the cars stolen from car rental companies in Dubai and Sharjah may be in a cargo container at the Jebel Ali port. Its owner lodged a complaint with the Dubai Police on Friday asking them to open the container. This is likely to be done in the next couple of days. This container is believed to have earlier been tracked down in Sharjah, but the conmen succeeded in transferring it to Jebel Ali.

Yousuf Al Zaroumi, Managing Director of Solo Rent-a-Car in Dubai believes his BMW car is in the container. “Our tracking system shows that this container has some stolen cars,” he says. The BMW is the second of Al Zaroumi’s two stolen cars with the police already having recovered one in Al Qusais.
This is the latest development in the case of luxurious cars worth Dh 10 million being stolen from car rental companies in Sharjah and Dubai in the last three months.

Last week, a tracking device installed in one of the vehicles led police to a shipping container inside a villa in Sharjah’s Sharqan district. They found cars sealed for export along with some disassembled for their spare parts.

More than 20 cars had been reported stolen by conmen intending to export these vehicles to neighbouring countries or sell their spare parts. The modus operandi involved gaining the trust of rent-a-car company owners over a period of time before making the heist. The cars, however, are equipped with modern tracking devices, which enabled a follow-up team constituted by the car owners, to pinpoint their location.

Naim Hadi, General Manager of Tracker Middle East, a company specialising in car tracking devices in the region, said the devices make it possible to monitor vehicles in its 24-hour control room. “Our technology is based on a newly developed hardware platform utilising the Global Positioning system (GPS) to provide vehicle position and etisalat GSM network to transmit information 24 hours a day,” says Hadi.



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