Muscat: Seven Omanis, including a two-year-old girl, were killed on the road to Salalah between Gaba and Haima, as a two-car head-on collision brought tragedy on the first day of Eid, Wednesday.
According to police, seven nationals lost their lives in the accident and one injured teenage girl is undergoing treatment at Nizwa hospital.
Such was the impact of the head-on collision that one of the cars was broken into several pieces. The front and back portions of the ill-fated vehicle was strewn over a wide area. The accident occurred near Umm Al Zamaem, some 100km away from Haima, at around 10am.
"So far, the reason behind the accident has not yet been ascertained. Overspeeding is suspected," a Royal Oman Police (ROP) official said.
Haima residents said that helicopters were called into service for the rescue mission.
The bodies of the crash victims were taken to Haima hospital. "Other than two bodies, five bodies have been identified by the relatives," a source in the hospital said.
"There are four female victims, including a two-year-old child, and three male victims," the hospital source said while adding that the teenage girl has suffered injuries on the head and jaws.
Even though, ROP has been cautioning drivers to drive safely, Oman has not escaped tragic accidents during Eid holidays.
In 2013, during the six-day Eid Al Adha holidays, 15 people were killed and 172 were injured in various road accidents.
In August 2012, 11 people died in one road accident in Haima. In 2011, during Eid Al Fitr holidays, 28 people were killed and 346 were injured in 234 road accidents.
This year, by the end of May, 2,496 accidents have already occurred, including some fatal ones. Oman ranks number three in the Eastern Mediterranean region in road accident fatality rate, which translates to 35 deaths per 100,000 people, according to Global Road Safety Report 2013.
According to the WHO, Oman was ranked fifth in the world in 2010 when it came to accidents. According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), road accidents in Oman came down by 20.5 per cent in 2013, compared to 2012.
A total of 905 people were killed and 9,965 were injured in 7,201 road accidents in 2013.
A report released by the NCSI in January this year says that 12 per cent of the road accidents in Oman turn out to be fatal with an average of one death in every 10 road accidents.
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