12-year-old suffers serious head injury after minivan rams into bus
Dubai: Ten schoolchildren suffered moderate to serious injuries after a minibus transporting them rammed into a bus operated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Al Muhaisna, paramedics said on Tuesday.
A 12-year-old student suffered a serious head injury, they said, while the female driver of the minibus, which was transporting students from the Gulf Model School on Sunday, was trapped in the bus until emergency personnel came to her rescue.
The accident happened next to the school at 10:30am after the minibus driver lost control of the vehicle while overtaking a speeding car and crashed into the back of an RTA bus that was offloading passengers, Shaikha Al Hadad, medical dispatcher supervisor at the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, told Gulf News.
“The 12-year-old was a Pakistani child who suffered a head injury and was immediately transferred to Rashid Hospital for treatment, while the rest of the children, between the ages of five to 13, suffered minor injuries,” she said.
Al Haddad said the driver suffered moderate injuries to the back and neck and was also transferred to Rashid Hospital.
“The operations room received a call about the accident and we immediately dispatched two ambulance cars and a mobile hospital, which is used to treat up to 10 cases during emergencies. Police rescue teams were also sent to the site,” she explained.
“Parents of the schoolchildren became very worried upon hearing about the accident and were persistently calling the operations room,” Al Haddad said.
A spokesperson from the Gulf Model School said the bus was not part of the school’s transport fleet and that they have previously advised parents to opt for the school transport instead of arranging private transport to ensure their children are driven by qualified drivers.
“It was a private transport, but we are definitely concerned about our children. We have been following up with their parents. Most of them had minor injuries and have resumed school, except one student in grade six who had a serious injury. We have been trying to reach the parents of the child for the last two days,” he said.
He added: “We tell parents to use the school bus facilities, but some choose to arrange it on their own. In this case, the school has nothing to do with the accident.”
School transport in Dubai regulated by RTA
School bus drivers in Dubai are subjected to rigorous training and a qualification process to ensure the highest standard of safety for pupils on road, according to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
RTA’s Public Transport Agency (PTA) holds annual training and approval programmes for candidates selected by schools to drive their buses before permits are issued to drivers.
“No school can appoint a driver without the approval of PTA. We conduct annual training and tests and, even before the tests, candidates need to have a set of pre-qualifications to apply for school bus driver’s permit,” a RTA official was quoted earlier in Gulf News.