MUSCAT, Oman – A Dubai-bound bus was hit by a truck traveling through western Oman’s desert and a passing car later slammed into the wreckage early on Tuesday morning, killing at least 18 people and injuring 16 others, police said.
An official at the Royal Oman Police said that an initial investigation revealed that the driver of the truck lost control after a tire burst.
The truck skidded off across the road and rammed into a bus, owned by the Gulf Transport Company, heading to Dubai from Salalah and carrying 45 passengers.
Sources at Ibri Hospital said they issued an urgent appeal for blood donations due to the high number of injuries.
Authorities received first word of the crash near the Nahdah area on the road connecting the cities of Fahud and Ibri around 1 am on Tuesday, Oman police spokesman Mohammad Bin Salama Al Hashimi said.
Fahud and Ibri are cities west of the capital, Muscat.
He said those hurt in the crash had injuries ranging from serious to minor and had been transported to hospitals throughout the country.
Police officers from Muscat arrived at the scene via helicopter, while workers with Petroleum Development Oman also aided rescuers, authorities said.
Police said six of the dead were Saudis from the Al Mehri tribe, including three children, a source at Al Nizwa hospital said.
They will be laid to rest in Nizwa province by Wednesday, according to Mohammad Al Mahri, a relative of the victims.
The hospital treated three other injured Omanis and said they were in stable condition.
The remaining deaths included four from Saudi Arabia, two from Pakistan and one from Yemen.
Five others were still unidentified.
Among the injured, 11 were from Oman, two were Saudis, one was Pakistani, one was Chinese and one remained unidentified, the police said.