Two young men killed in fiery crash after illegal modifications made car 'lethal'

A crash in Al Ain in which two young men were killed may have been partly caused by illegal modifications to the car, police believe.

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AL AIN // A crash in which two young men were killed may have been partly caused by illegal modifications to the car, police believe. The victims, Emiratis identified as EE, 21, and GS, 16, were speeding in the Um Ghafa area yesterday morning, when the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to roll over several times. Both men were killed instantly and thrown from the car, which burst into flames.

An initial investigation revealed that the four-wheel drive vehicle had been illegally modified. "The vehicle was illegally equipped with headers, a turbo charger, modified exhausts, and other equipment to increase speed and horsepower," said Col Hamad al Balooshi, the head of the Al Ain Traffic Police. "These items push a vehicle to perform beyond its structural limits and lead to loss of control, crashes and car fires."

Many young men in Al Ain modify and race their souped-up vehicles. One of them said he was saddened to learn of the deaths, but added that he was not surprised. "It's tragic that these men lost their lives, but I am not surprised," said Butti al Dhaher, 24, an Emirati. "When you put inexperienced drivers in powerful cars and add parts that increase engine output without knowing how to handle it, this is what happens.

"Most of these after-market turbo and superchargers are meant for smaller sports cars that ride lower, almost hugging the ground. But in the UAE, especially in Al Ain, people increase the horsepower on their four-wheel drive vehicles so that they can drive up sand dunes." ealghalib@thenational.ae