The accident scene at the Central Bus Station at Doha's Frij Al Ghanim. The bus that caused the accident is seen at the spot where it came to a stop after running over the platform where passengers were waiting. An ambulance and crew are seen in the foreground. PICTURE: Najeer Feroke
By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter
At least four expatriates - three Asians and an Arab - were killed and two others seriously injured when a public transport bus rammed into a group of waiting passengers at Mowasalat's Central Bus Station in Doha's Frij Al Ghanim area around 12.30pm on Friday.
Two of the victims of bus number 156, bound for Al Khartiyat, were Filipinos, including a woman, sources told Gulf Times. A staffer at the bus station said one of the other deceased certainly appeared to be an Arab national. At least two of the bodies had to be extricated from under the bus. One of the injured was also an Arab expatriate, according to sources.
In the impact of the crash, the bus which rammed into the platform of the waiting shelter, came to a halt only after running further to hit two Toyota Innova taxis belonging to Al Million Company and parked behind the shelter. Both the vehicles were badly damaged. The bus also knocked down a sign post displaying a route map.
The bus driver was taken into custody by police from the accident site. One of the supervisors on duty said the deceased woman was apparently part of a group of passengers who were sipping tea or coffee on the platform when the bus ran on to them.
Even though there were some conflicting reports about the accident, some of those who were at the bus station said it seemed that the driver apparently lost control over the bus. The driver had reportedly taken the bus from the parking bay and was driving it towards the waiting terminal when the accident occurred.
When contacted, a senior official of the Central Bus Station refused to comment other than saying "there was an accident." However other employees, including some of the drivers of the taxis which were parked in the area, confirmed the casualties. The drivers said they saw one of the injured, an Arab expatriate, being carried to an ambulance.
Today's accident at the Central Bus Station was the second in 16 months. On the forenoon of August 13 last year, a bus which lost control ran into more than a dozen waiting passengers, leaving at least four of them seriously injured.
Some of the waiting passengers at the bus station said had the accident taken place in the afternoon there could have been more casualties as every inch of the place is usually filled with passengers after 3pm on Fridays.
The Central Bus Station, located about 500m from Doha Corniche, is crowded with passengers during Thursday and Friday evenings as a large number of expatriate workers converge from different parts of Qatar.
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