2008/02/25

A Dark Day in Al Ain

Blaze claims two children in Al Ain [Warning: there are some gut-wrenching details at that link, so you may not want to read the whole story. I suspect I may have trouble sleeping tonight after reading it myself.]:
Two Emirati children - Hamad, 4, and his brother Mansour, 2, - died in a fire that broke out in their house in Zakhir area in Al Ain on Friday...

The source said the fire might have been started due to a short circuit in one of the air-conditioners.

The aunt of the victims said the children were playing inside a room. Suddenly, the other family members heard the children’s cries and rushed to the room. But the fire had already engulfed the room.

"Our neighbour who rushed to the house and we tried to rescue the children but could not see them due to the fire and heavy smoke," she added.
The family are blaming the deaths on "the delay in the arrival of the rescue team" but the police head says otherwise. I only know that when we had our fire, it took the fire department a very long time to find the house.

Crash: Car overturns killing girl [second story on page]:
A teenage girl died and her mother sustained severe injuries when their car overturned yesterday in Al Kharis [sic - should be Al Khrais] district.

A traffic police official said the car was driven by a Syrian woman, identified as N.M., who was accompanied by her two teenage daughters. The woman lost control of the vehicle while she was negotiating a roundabout.
Since the other daughter was unhurt, it seems possible that she was the only one wearing a seatbelt. Of course, she could also have just been very, very lucky too.

(Speaking of which, it is good to see that the Dubai police are launching a two-week campaign to encourage seatbelt use for children. I agree with the experts in the story, it is not enough, but a start is better than nothing.)

Then, to top everything else off, we are also apparently facing a stray dog infestation:
Residents in Al Ain have been complaining about the rise in the number of stray dogs in the city that is famous for its quiet and clean environment.

The stray dogs, they feel, are a traffic hazard as they can cause accidents by running across the streets unexpectedly.

Mohammed Al Mahdi, a resident, said the stray dogs disturb his family as well as the neighbours, especially at night. "Sometimes, the dogs attack the passersby," he added.

Ashraf Sharif, another resident, said the stray dogs seem to be diseased and urged the local authorities to initiate measures to protect the health of the public, especially children.
It isn't clear if the disease that these dogs have is rabies, which would be a big concern. It would also explain why these dogs seem to have turned aggressive suddenly. Everytime I have seen a stray, it avoids everyone like its life depends on it.

5 comments:

Carolina Clicks said...

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. children between the ages of 1 and 14. You should always wear your seat belt, not only to prevent injuries and death, but to set a good example for those around you! Please visit our website http://www.carolinaclicks.org and sign the guestbook on our parents or student page to pledge to wear your seatbelt every time you enter the car!

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Cairogal said...

Wow...if stray dogs are causing accidents I suspect a movement to ban all 4 x 4s in Al Ain can't be far behind. ;-)

i*maginate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
i*maginate said...

I can't bring myself to read the end of your post's first sentence.