At least 18 people were killed and another 16 injured when a bus crashed into a lorry and a car in western Oman early yesterday.
Among the dead, six were from Oman, four were from Saudi Arabia, two were from Pakistan and one was from Yemen, said the Royal Oman Police.
Five others remain unidentified.
Authorities received first word of the crash near the Nahdah area on the road connecting the cities of Fahud and Ibri around 1am, said Mohammed bin Salama Al Hashami Oman police spokesman said. Fahud and Ibri are cities west of the capital, Muscat, in the Omani desert.
The crash tipped the truck over, sending its contents – including plastic bags, cardboard boxes and other debris – all over the two-lane road. The roof of the bus was partly torn off. Authorities brought a crane to lift away the smashed remains of the vehicles.
Omani police said their initial investigation showed that the bus and the truck probably had a head-on collision, while the car later crashed into the wreckage. Police officers from Muscat arrived at the scene by helicopter, while workers with Petroleum Development Oman also aided rescuers, authorities said.
Among the injured, 11 were from Oman, two were Saudis, one was Pakistani, one was Chinese and one remained unidentified, police said.
He said the 14 wounded in the crash had serious to minor injuries and had been transported to hospitals throughout the sultanate.
Traffic crashes are not uncommon in the Gulf states. Many drivers speed on long desert highways and large populations of foreign guest workers are a source of motorists who have come to the country with differing driving habits.
In February 2013, at least 22 migrant workers died when a gravel-filled truck with faulty brakes rammed into a bus near in Al Ain on the Omani border. In May the following year, 15 migrant workers died in a bus crash in Dubai.
* Associated Press