Abu Dhabi: A pilgrimage on Good Friday ended up in a tragedy when four Filipino expatriates, including three men and a woman, were killed in a car crash on Abu Dhabi–Dubai highway near Shahama.
Filipino diplomats told Gulf News on Sunday that six Filipinos were in a four-wheel drive car travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi when their vehicle was hit by another vehicle. Four of them died on the spot, said Constancio R. Vingno Jr, the Philippine Ambassador to the UAE.
“Two women were critically injured. They are being treated at an Abu Dhabi hospital,” the envoy said.
He said 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 into the incident.
The ambassador said the information gathered from friends and relatives of the victims indicated that the incident happened when the Filipinos got down from their car after a tyre burst. Another car hit them from behind, he said.
“These are the narratives of relatives and friends. We are still waiting for an official report,” Vingno Jr said.
They were visiting churches across the UAE on Good Friday as part of a religious practice, he said. The envoy said the embassy in coordination with the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai would extend all possible help to the families of the victims.
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 service sector in Dubai. Their families are back home.
“Once we reach the families of the victims, we will release their names with their consent,” P. Cortes said.
An eyewitness told Gulf News that three cars were seen at the accident scene. “The cars were mostly damaged by the collision. It seems they were on 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 to ambulance,” he said. “It was a disturbing scene,” said the Pakistani national who did not want to be named.
The ambassador advised motorists to exercise utmost caution in the event of a 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.” He suggested to stay away from vehicle and seek help from police immediately. “Always keep a safe distance from the vehicle,” the envoy advised.