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Wed 12 Mar 2008 01:16 PM

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Confusion over accident toll

National and global media take stock after 60-car pile-up incident.

The following is a survey from national, regional and global internet media about what many consider the UAE's worst motor accident, where over 60 vehicles were involved in a huge pile-up on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway.

Key facts:1 pm (0900 GMT) Wednesday

How many killed and injured in the incident?

State news agency Wam on Wednesday said a dozen people had been killed, and 347 injured. Other news reports quoting police have the number killed at three to eight, with the number injured at 277 upwards.

How many cars have been involved in the incident?

Wam said on Wednesday more than 60 cars were involved in the incident. Other news reports quoting police have the number of vehicles, including pick-ups and buses, between 90 and 200.

Media Survey:

NATIONAL/REGIONAL

Gulf News, UAE daily newspaper
"At least three people were killed and nearly 350 injured in a horrific 60 vehicle pile-up on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway near Ghantoot on Tuesday. However, Gulf News has learnt that the death toll could be five."

Khaleej Times, UAE daily newspaper
"In the worst-ever multiple collisions in the history of the country, apparently caused by heavy fog and negligent driving, more than 150 vehicles, including 12 buses, rammed into each other on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway yesterday morning, resulting in four deaths and injuries to 317 people."

Xpress Newspaper, UAE daily newspaper
"Five commuters were killed and 277 injured in a horrific 200-vehicle pileup between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the early hours of Tuesday, according a police statement issued to official news agency Wam."

GLOBAL NEWS NETWORKS

Al-Jazeera, Arab-based global news network

"In one of the worst road accidents ever seen in the Middle East, up to 200 vehicles crashed into each other on a busy highway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi."

Al-Arabiya, Arab-based global news network
"At least six people were killed and around 40 were injured on Tuesday in what seems to be the worst accident to ever be recorded in the history of the United Arab Emirates."

NEWSWIRES

Reuters, global newswire
"Three people were killed and 277 injured in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday when dozens of cars and buses collided in thick fog in what could be the country's biggest traffic accident, police said."

AP, global newswire
"Three people were killed and more than 300 injured in a 60-vehicle pile-up in thick fog on the highway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, police said. Twelve cars burst into flames and six people were in critical condition."

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Steve Nielsen 12 years ago

Even your reporting is incorrect which I can confirm as a first hand witness. You use the term accident when correct reporting should be "a series of major accidents". The reason that one of the accidents at Ghantoot takes centre stage is that there was a horrific fire. In fact there were two major accidents at Ghantoot, one at Al Rhabia, one outside Al Shahama and a further one at the road works near Abu Dhabi Airport....there may well have been more either major or minor accidents. Most reports make reference to the one accident which is a complete misrepresentation. It is therefore excusable for the authorities to give misleading information as to numbers of casualties and vehicles involved since all these incidents occurred over a 30km stretch of road (Note even Sheik Zayed Road as reported in some of the press!) I know because I drove at 20-40km an hour on the opposite side of the road for the complete stretch from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and could saw the carnage unfold. My estimate for the number of vehicles involved in all the incidents would be approximately 250 - 300. The number of vehicles (ONLY CARS!) on fire at the one incident at Ghantoot was approximately 15 not the sensationalist 92 as reported in some of the press.This is the most factual account that I can give.