Mwsalat resumes Dubai services

MUSCAT: Mwsalat on Saturday announced that bus services between Muscat and Dubai route have resumed. The national transport company of the Sultanate said: “Operations on Muscat-Dubai route will be resumed as of today (Saturday) in agreement with the Road and Transport Authority in Dubai.” According to the statement, an independent investigation team has been formed and headed by accident investigations from the department of transport safety at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“The team which includes experts on traffic safety and specialises in safety management systems will explore the direct and indirect causes of the serious accident enabling the authorities to take corrective actions to avoid such accidents,” the statement said. Services on the route were suspended following the accident in Dubai last Thursday as a precautionary measure for the safety of passengers, Mwsalat said in a statement. Mwsalat said it has paid great attention to the incident immediately on receipt of news and has taken all measures in cooperation with the authorities in Dubai.

The regular users of the Muscat-Dubai bus services are still in a state of shock even as the authorities look into the reasons for the bus accident of Thursday.
With six scheduled round trips daily by two operators, including Mwasalat, the services have been popular over the years due to its affordability, reliability and safety.

While a one-way flight ticket costs around RO30, bus ticket costs only RO5.
In recent times, these services have got better with a new fleet of buses and features such as WiFi alongside frequencies.
“My company does lift maintenance and is based in Dubai. I come to Muscat every 15 days to attend some clients for a day or two using the bus. Never had such issues till date,” said Ashraf, a lift mechanic said.
“This unfortunate accident will be an eye-opener for the authorities to plug any discrepancies in the current operations,” said James Philips, who returned from Dubai on the first day of the Eid.
Mwasalat said an independent investigation team of safety experts has been formed to explore the direct and indirect causes of this serious accident, which will also initiate measures to avoid any recurrence of such incidents.
“Bus drivers are very helpful and they help passengers in time of any difficulty, especially at the immigration. They never leave them in the lurch,” said Mickey, a Filipino expatriate.
Drivers are also at risk so it is better not to come to any unfounded conclusions.
With bus services resuming on Saturday, officials have ensured that the unfortunate incident of last week is only one-off.

Twelve Indians were among the 17 people killed in the fatal bus accident in Dubai when the bus, going to Dubai, carrying 31 passengers, crashed into a height barrier which cut the left side of the bus and killed passengers sitting on that side. Two Pakistanis, an Irish national and a Bangladeshi national make up the remaining passengers who died in the crash. Citizens from Germany and the Philippines were among those survived the accident. Mortal remains of all the Indians were being flown back to India on Air India flights, Vipul, Indian Consular General in Dubai tweeted.

“We hope that all mortal remains will be repatriated to India tomorrow and day after. Air India is providing all help. We would like to sincerely thank Dubai Police and all hospital authorities for their assistance,” he said in the tweet. Meanwhile, the Pakistani consulate in Dubai said they are giving consular assistance to the victims and their families. “Out of the dead, two Pakistanis have been identified. One is Shafiq from DG Khan. His NoC has been issued and passport also cancelled from the consulate. His body will be transported to Multan by Airblue this evening”, the consulate was quoted as saying.

The second Pakistani died in the accident is identified as Shehzad Khan, son of Sarfraz Khan, his body will be transported to Peshawar after completion of necessary documents. Another Pakistani national, Jamshed Khan had a fracture and left hospital after treatment. “The Consulate General staff was at hospital and at the Police Station and accident site and assisted in the relief of dead and injured,” the consulate added.

With inputs from Vinod Nair