Al Ghanem bus accident victims identified

The two Filipinos who were killed in the tragic bus crash at Al Ghanem main station early on Friday afternoon were identified as Acasar Barabay Arato, male, 50, and Marescia Mendoza Tanaid, a 30-year-old woman.

Qatar’s daily newspaper, The Peninsula, reported that the other two who were crushed to death were Indians. They were Mobin Mohamed Khan, 33 and Sanjay Kumar Jaiswal, 35.

The two hailed from the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). Jaiswal was from Raebareli district in central UP, while Khan was from Deoria district in east UP.

The local daily also said that the Indian embassy did not respond despite several calls for details of the deceased.

The Indians were working in one company and were together waiting for the ill-fated bus (Number 156 that was bound for Al Gharafa) when its driver lost control and ran over the waiting crowds.

Details about the Filipinos could not be immediately known. The bodies of all the deceased were at the mortuary of Hamad General Hospital (HGH).

The driver of the ill-fated bus was reportedly a Nepalese and was earlier driving a school bus. He was shifted to the public transport sector about four months ago.

Some regular commuters this newspaper spoke to yesterday said Al Ghanem bus terminal being the main one was small and incapable of handling large crowds of commuters.

There are 38 routes and some 400 buses deployed on these routes on a single day, while the bus station is small and the crowds are large particularly on Thursdays and Fridays. The station needs to be shifted to larger premises.

A member of the Central Municipal Council (CMC), Mohamed Hammoud Al Shafi, meanwhile, told this newspaper that state-run transport company Mowasalat which owns and runs Karwa buses should regularly check the residential quarters of bus drivers to make sure they don’t drink.

He said the licensing procedures for bus drivers should also be made stricter and the traffic department should make sure they are given rigorous training before being issued driver’s licences.

Many bus drivers carry driving licences from their home countries which are allegedly “bought”. They are given a bit of training here and issued licenses to drive buses said Al Shafi.

The CMC has already discussed the issue of bad behavior of school and public transport Karwa bus drivers and lack of driving skills of some of them. “I will be talking to my CMC colleagues and raise the issue in the House again,” said Al Shafi.

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