Horrific road accident leaves 8 cleaners dead in Jazan

Pall of gloom descends on Bangladeshi community


Saudi Gazette

— Grief and gloom is palpable in the air as some poor and illiterate Bangladeshi expatriate cleaners struggle to come out of the trauma of a horrific road accident that claimed the lives of eight compatriots in the remote town of Samta in Jazan province, bordering Yemen.

The Bangladesh consulate in Jeddah is working round-the-clock to gather information from Saudi officials and has dispatched an official team by road since there was no immediate flight available, according to officials. The team visited the injured in hospitals on Monday.

Survivors are finding it hard to come to terms with the tragedy that has befallen on them. All the workers hail from Bangladesh and were working as cleaners for a leading cleaning company that has municipal contracts across the Kingdom. The workers started early morning from their accommodation in Samta and were going to Guba for road cleaning when the truck carrying them was hit by a speeding vehicle.

“As a routine, we started early morning for job but after a sudden sound I do not remember anything,” Shohidul Islam, native of Tangail district in Bangladesh, said.

Speaking with Saudi Gazette over the phone, he said in choking voice: “We have lost everything, nothing remained.”

Twenty-one-year-old Islam, who has been been in the Kingdom for last two years, has his spinal cord damaged and is permanently disabled. He will be confined to bed for the rest of his life.

The injured workers were rushed to nearby hospitals including Samat General Hospital by six ambulance teams. One of the workers had died later. After initial treatment, most of injured workers, who are holding medical insurance cards, were shifted to other private hospitals, said sources.

However, critically injured workers remain in public hospitals for further treatment.

The vehicle was carrying 22 workers and most of them were hailing from Tangail district of Bangladesh.

“We received information about the accident and casualties from traffic police in Jazan”, said Aminul Islam, Bangladesh Labor Consul in Jeddah.

He said that there were seven deaths and 15 injuries as per preliminary information received from Saudi authorities. However, Bangladesh consulate team that has reached the spot is working to gather updates on casualties.

After receiving passport details of deceased workers, the Bangladesh consulate is planning to release the names to avoid any confusion among the community in Kingdom as well as back home in Dhaka.