ABU DHABI: Twenty-two people were injured, two of them critically, when dozens of vehicles collided in heavy fog outside Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, according to UAE media reports.
Dramatic footage of the incident was captured on video by commuters. The crash on the E311 road, also known as the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Road, happened about 8am local time as visibility reduced to just a few meters.
Commuters are seen leaving their cars and climbing over the barrier to escape as between 40 and 70 vehicles pile-up.
Abu Dhabi Police have blamed the crash on drivers’ failure to leave ample distance between vehicles, not obeying speed limits and disregard for safety in the foggy weather.
According to reports, the accident blocked traffic from Dubai and cars remained stuck in traffic for some time before police were able to clear the carnage.
Brigadier Khalifa Mohammed Al-Khaili, director of the traffic and patrols directorate, said there was a quick response by traffic patrols and many emergency vehicles helped in returning the road to normal.
He said: “The police had already put in place emergency plans for foggy conditions, including banning lorries and buses transporting workers from using roads during such conditions. Such vehicles were instead to wait until the roads became clear to ensure the safety of road users and avoid possible fatal accidents.”
According to UAE media reports, he added that it’s “absurd” that these sort of accidents were still happening in spite of daily warnings and alert messages about fog to drivers through their social media accounts.