Accident plays spoilsport


By Muaz Shabandri & Amira Agarib

Aslam Basha and Sharoz Khan were sprightly boys who loved sports. Sharoz was keen on football. Tragically they now lie on hospital beds battling multiple injuries after being knocked down by a school bus on Tuesday evening.

The driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle from the parking area and drove onto the pavement before hitting the students, who where walking towards the bus near the gate.

In the emergency ward of Rashid Hospital’s trauma centre on Wednesday, grim faces gathered as news of their progress trickled in. Many friends and kin could not hold back their tears. Doctors performed emergency operations, but there was more bad news in store for the families.

Aslam’s and Sharoz’s injuries are serious with multiple fractures, according to doctors treating them. The parents prayed for their recovery, hoping for a miracle to end the agony.

“He is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and we are hearing about new fractures every time the doctors conduct scans. He has suffered a broken hipbone and a fractured rib, which has caused severe internal bleeding,“ said Aslam’s father Basha Thabaralam.

Aslam, a 11-year old Grade 6 student, will remain in ICU and will undergo multiple surgeries over the next couple of weeks.

Sharoz, 13, is reported to be out of danger and has been shifted to the recovery centre at the hospital.

But a badly injured foot and fractures in the thighbone and hipbone will keep him out of the ‘beautiful’ game for at least six to eight months. Before that, he will be confined to a hospital wheel-chair for six weeks.

“He is resilient and will come out of this stronger. Before going into surgery, he smiled at us and told us not to worry,” said his uncle Nouman Khan.

Police officials said the accident could have been avoided if adequate safety measures were in place.

Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafin, Director General of Department of Traffic, said a student was on board the bus when the accident took place.

According to the official, the driver allegedly started the bus with the gear in ‘drive’ position, which caused the vehicle to lurch forward. He could not apply the brake in time to avoid hitting the two students who were standing outside the school gate

Sharoz’s family were planning to travel to Karachi later this week, but the accident has put their plans on hold.

“The school staff has been very supportive and they have been by our side

throughout. However, we seek justice and the driver is accountable for his careless attitude which lead to such an accident,” said Nouman.

Police said the accident took place outside the school premises on Tuesday at 4.30pm as students on the afternoon shift were boarding the bus home. Following a spate of accidents recently, Dubai Police had intensified its awareness campaigns and had deployed extra patrols near schools. Police statistics show four children died and 14 were injured in traffic accidents this year. Six children died in road accidents in 2010.