Tragedy on the road this morning

What a horrible start to the day, with the school bus crash that took 4 lives so far, with another 9 in danger.

The school bus drove into a parked truck on the Qurum heights road heading in towards Darsait around 7:30am today. According to a spokesman from the Pakistan Social Club (reported by Muscat Daily), there were 36 students in the bus and presumably just 1 adult driver, for a total of 37 people inside the bus. Slightly different numbers from PACDA Oman's twitter feed state 4 people dead and a total of 38 - 37 of which were children. The bus was headed to the Pakistan School Muscat which is located in Darsait.

There was a call for blood donations, but the hospital now has adequate supplies. For those that died, I hope it was quick, and that their friends and families can move on from this tragic accident.

The bus, a school bus, drove into a parked truck. I wonder if the driver was distracted - there are rumours of witnesses that said the driver (who is ok and survived this) was on his phone at the time of the accident? How exactly do you hit a parked truck when you have 2 lanes of traffic and a hard shoulder to drive on? Has anyone questioned why there were 38 passengers in the bus? I don't know 100% but from the pictures I think it's a Mitsubishi Fuso bus, which has a maximum capacity of 25 (source). The max capacity would change a little here and there depending on bus make (the Toyota coaster is less, and I don't know about the Chinese ones).

So, why was the Pakistan School Muscat cramming too many students into a bus not designed to handle so many passengers? Would any of the fatalities (3 or 4, I still don't know) have been avoided or at the very least reduced if the bus was not over-crowded?

I hope this case is fully investigated and stricter rules and regulations around school buses comes of it, don't let those children's lives have been snubbed out in vain.

le fin.
Tragedy on the road this morning Tragedy on the road this morning Reviewed by Sythe on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. Lets hope a lesson is learned from this tragic accident. The ROP need to be proactive with stopping drivers on phones. The problem is almost everyone is doing it and nothing is happening. People see others on the phone so do it themselves. There is NO deterrent.

  2. "For those that died, I hope it was quick, and that their friends and families can move on from this tragic accident."

    Guess u missed little sober words to use...

    May god give the strength to the family of the departed kids and those injured through such a tumultuous time..

  3. In my view it is ideal that the speed limits in the city limits be reduced to 80. This will bring a lot of sense in the driving skills of everyone in Muscat. If not more at least it will save the fatalities in case of an accident. Speed Governors on the buses ferrying the school kids, employees etc should be made a must. Ideally they should introduce big school buses instead of the small ones which can be zipped around like a car....

  4. This is an appalling tragedy and a waste of young lives. The only value that can come from this ridiculous accident is if the licensing and management of school buses and their drivers is fully reviewed and sorted out. Currently there are no requirements other than that the driver hold a valid manual driving licence: no special training for bus-sized vehicles, no vehicle safety training, no training to manage groups of children. And let’s face it, the driver education here is barely enough to keep drivers of normal cars safe on the roads. The schools and bus companies pay absolute minimum wage to drivers, and there are no tests, no background checks. This for the people that are supposed to transport our children safely on the roads. Add to this the bare minimum of maintenance, the near total lack of seat belts on many buses – and how often have you seen them barreling around corners with all the kids standing or kneeling on seats and fully open windows and doors flapping? It’s a miracle when children don’t fall out; not that the driver would notice as they are always texting or talking on the phone. When there is an accident the insurance covers everything, blood money included, and no one learns, nothing changes. Parents must put pressure on the schools – surely school responsibility must extend to the school buses – or boycott the buses until the system is improved.

  5. The ROP would not see anyone on a mobile as they are too busy texting or calling from in their cars and from the side of the road. This problem will not be solved until the Police are made to take their own jobs more seriously.

  6. The bus was not under Pakistan School Muscat, it was a transport serive provided by local.the bus was coming from barka.
    I was there at hospital after the incident,my brother was at hospital when children were brought to the hospital.I asked kids who were not seriously injured according to them driver fell asleep and bus rolled over twice.
    Till now there were 3 casualties and 2 are in critical condition.

  7. People will not drive safer until there are real consequences enforced by the law. If it's proven this man was on his phone, speeding etc then he needs to be persecuted. The school (or whoever arranges transportation) should be held liable as well for allowing too many students to ride in the van. It's not rocket science. The ROP must be actively patrolling (as opposed to useless speed radars) the roads an issuing tickets and people should lose their licenses for too many violations. And most importantly... EVERYONE must be held accountable (ie not having tickets excused) for things to change. When the law is taken seriously, these incidents will surely decrease.

  8. I love your blog but was slightly surprised to see you write 'I hope the families can move on (from this)'

    I have three young children and I know you are also blessed with a child. Can, as a parent, you ever move on? I suspect you never get over it.

  9. What an absolute tragic and unnessary event. Prayers for all those affected.

    I have only lived here 2 months and I am absolutely appauled by the standard of driving and safety awareness. Accidents happening every few days on roads I use regularly. If I indicate other drivers around me speed up. If I drive slow, other drivers blowing their horns at me. People clearly driving and texting and same times. Children standing up in the front or rear off cars. I see this every day. Why the government doesn't implement two simple rules. Seat belts compulsory. Mobile phones banned!

    Government wake up!

  10. Please note that the bus is not the property of pakistan school muscat nor they had hired. its a private bus owned by a local. so the school is not responsible.

    The bus driver / owner and the parents and the law enforcement agencies had to implement strict rules.

  11. Why was the Municipality Truck parked on such busy road during peak hours.

    Looking at daily traffic, why can't they do their work during off peak hours.

    Its high time ROP strictly regulates school bus drivers and not be lenient only because they are from "reserved" category.

  12. 1) I concur with Syed. All speed limits within city need to be restricted to 80.
    2) Off the topic here, but new cameras installed for violations at traffic lights has simply not deterred the people. Look at Ruwi signals (between sheraton and ruwi roundabout), it looks like people are completely careless about signals. 95 % people enter the junction even when they are not supposed to.

  13. Very unfortunate incident indeed. It is more unfortunate that in Oman we do not have any strict regulations regarding school transport system as in our neighboring country like UAE, where they have very high safety regulations regarding school transport. Also this menace of people texting and using mobile phones while driving has to be really taken care of by the authorities. We surely need some stricter traffic laws for the clowns on the roads here in Oman.

  14. your blog is wonderful and entertaining...

    "For those that died, I hope it was quick, and that their friends and families can move on from this tragic accident."

    is a heartless thing to say !

  15. I hope there is a thorough investigation and if the driver is found to be at fault, he should be jailed. If an example isn't made of him, nobody will learn. Don't let these kids die for nothing. Also, I'm sure many people reading this don't strap their kids in - if not, why not?! I think it's highly likely that there would have been no fatalities in this accident if there was only one child to a seat and all were strapped in. If you don't insist on your kids being strapped in, I hope this is a lesson for you.

  16. Nothing will be done.
    This is not the first time that kids have been killed in a school bus crash in Oman.
    I was given the finger by a school bus driver a few weeks back when I asked him to get off the phone.
    They have no training in how to drive these buses. Pushing the limits of vehicle performance and stability on a daily basis while also pushing human performance with late nights before shift or more than usual, up all night and sleep after the kids are dropped off.
    In this case, we don't know if the driver was asleep, sick or on the phone...but regardless, the situation is only getting worse.
    Last week was the closest I have ever come to getting deported as I was more than willing to smash the face in of the little shit who was driving kids while texting.
    But the bottom line....lots of talk, lots of promises, same old same old in the end.

    Go on, Oman...prove me wrong!

  17. Along with all the safety features like speed limiter, seat belts etc. can we also have mobile jammers in school buses.

  18. Very True...
    Nothing is going to happen...

  19. Fresh and reckless violation I noticed just 10 mins back -- Spot @ KFC Signal in Ruwi. This pickup vehicle came from Ruwi roundabout heading towards sheraton. And within blink of eye instead of going straight - GUESS, it took a reckless u-turn at the signal. Gosh ! The driver was shamelessely laughing while doing so

  20. Anonymous said: 'May god give the strength to the family of the departed kids and those injured through such a tumultuous time.'

    Maybe if this God of yours had been a bit better at his job he wouldn't have let 3 kids die.

    Nothing will happen to the driver. Look at the SQU incident where the driver pulled out in front of traffic and several young Omani girls were killed. The upshot? The driver walked and his Indian boss was jailed for 5 years.
    I hope that this incident is the tipping point for real measures to be taken on road safety and not just putting small adverts in newspapers.

    Lastly, for the people who take umbrage at Sythe's line, "For those that died, I hope it was quick, and that their friends and families can move on from this tragic accident." I agree with him fully. No, you don't get over it, ever, but you can move on.

  21. {I truly concur with all the comments posted above. I being a parent, my heart goes with the fellow parents who have lost their children in this tragic accident and pray that those who are critical, come out of this tragedy.

    What action has been initiated against the driver? Nowhere in the media, it is indicated about the action being initiated for snapping these innocent lives.

    I myself have been a victim of these reckless drivers. My Child along with the fellow students always report to us that the driver who transports my child,overspeeds, applies breaks recklessly, puts on loud music in the bus, keeps texting etc.... When we complain this to the facility provider, he cuts a sorry face indicating his helplessness at drivers not being available at low cost etc... In such a situation, where do we go and put forth our greivances and do we let the live of our innocent children at the fate of these reckless drivers?

    I think we parents need to get together and represent our plight to the ROP, who in turn need to be proactive to book these violators under the law.....

    Thanks >


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