All six Asian expatriate workers who were killed in a road crash in the Lusail Development area on Thursday were new to the country.

The six were killed when a four-wheel drive vehicle ran over them as they were waiting for their company bus to take them back to their accommodation after work. They were sitting under a subway in the community development under construction which gave them shelter from the hot sun.

Among the dead were five Nepalese nationals and an Indian. They were identified as Phatwari Chaudhari, Vivekananda Saha, Ramchandra Mahato, Arjun Gautam and Assaram Tharu (all Nepalese) and Augustine (Indian).

A second Indian, identified as Jose, suffered “clinical death”, which is the medical term for cessation of blood circulation and breathing.  Both Augustine and Jose were natives of the Kollam district in Kerala. 

All the victims were workers of two construction firms, Sweden Trading & Contracting Company and Saadia Maintenance & Cleaning Company, sources said.

Though the cause of the accident is still being investigated, it was likely that the driver had either lost control of the vehicle or was distracted, according to the sources.

A Nepal embassy official said that among the five Nepalese victims, three belonged to one company and the other two to another one. “According to the inquiries that I made with their employers, it was found that all the victims had arrived in Qatar just a little over 40 days ago,” said the mission spokesman.

Asked if any of the dead had valid residence permits, the diplomat replied he was still looking into such issues. The diplomat, who yesterday visited the hospital mortuary where the bodies are kept, said he  identified the victims through the help of their employers. “Relatives of some of the victims families have been informed of the gruesome tragedy,” he said.

The diplomat said the Nepalese victims were in the age group of 25-35. He could not confirm if they were married or not.

When his attention was drawn to reports that three others were also critically injured  in the accident, the diplomat said a Nepalese expatriate, who he identified as I Chaudhary, had suffered head injuries but was “out of danger”.

Among Qatar’s expatriate communities, the Nepalese have lost the largest number of lives in recent years in road accidents. On June 11, three Nepalese had lost their lives in an accident on the Salwa Road. There were also other road accidents in which Nepalese pedestrians had lost their lives in the last 45 days, according to the embassy official.  

No other single road accident of the recent times has claimed as many lives as the one that occurred in Lusail. Ironically, it has come at a time when the issue of road safety in the country is being deliberated at the highest levels and when a number of traffic safety awareness programmes are being held.

A recent data released by the Ministry of Interior  said that in 2012 there were 204 deaths in road traffic accidents and 605 sustained serious injuries.


Five nationals die in crash


Close on the heels of the accident in Lusail  that claimed the lives of six Asian expatriates on Thursday,  five Qatari nationals were killed in a road crash in the Rawdat al-Rashid area off the Salwa Road, about 30km away from Doha, early yesterday. The names of the victims, all youngsters, are not known. Their four-wheel drive vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with a truck, killing all five instantaneously according to  Ministry of Interior sources.


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