Nizwa, March 6 –
Three schoolchildren were killed and seven were injured in a road accident involving a school bus in Jabal Akhdar on Tuesday morning.
The condition of four of them is stated to be critical, according to the emergency department at Nizwa Hospital.
Two children are in intensive care, while four, with minor injuries, are in the Surgery Department.
The students (Grade 1 to 4) of Abu Zaid al Riyami School in Jabal Akhdar in the Wilayat of Nizwa were on their way to the school when the driver lost control of the vehicle.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) said the vehicle, instead of the stipulated seven passengers, was carrying 12 children. Lt Col Khamis al Saidi, Traffic Director of Nizwa, said the driver was “busy with some device” when he lost control of the vehicle.
Sulieman al Mayahi, the school principal, expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased.
“Accidents can happen to road users. However, we always urge the drivers to exercise caution while on duty,” he added.
Meanwhile, parents have expressed resentment that school buses are carrying more passengers than the stipulated number.
The issue had been raised by parents earlier too.
Many accidents have occurred because of crowding and no action has been taken by authorities in this regard, they had lamented.
Mohammed al Riyami, a parent, said some drivers “stuff” the vehicle to avoid more trips. “They know this poses danger to passengers, yet they do this to save on time and fuel.”
“The drivers are young. They drive fast and use mobile phones while driving,” said Al Riyami.
The ROP, on the other hand, said enforcing seatbelts for passengers will help reduce the number of deaths in accidents because the vehicle will not be allowed to carry more than the stipulated number.
Mai al Abria & Amal al Riyami –