Tuesday, April 8, 2008

close call

A story that didnt make it to my blog so far..

It was 11 March; a tuesday. I have been travelling to Dubai since sunday for my intermediate haccp certification. The trainer was Dr Pandiyan. He was a nice guy. Actually! Every sentence he uttered began & ended with "actually". My boss named him "Actual Pandiyan". If I take that as a clue, I should have named my boss "Regardless Naser"

Back to 11th of March. It has been unusually foggy here in the morning for the last few days. Today was exceptional.

We started by around 7 am. But on 11th, my boss was 10 minutes late. I cant complain. He does the driving and the conversation. Keeps him awake. Not me.

On the way we always stop at an adnoc station for gas, coffee. That day we didn't see the place. It was too foggy to even spot the gas station. Little later we realised that we had missed both the gas stations en route to Dubai. We were already late. The fog didnt help.

The traffic suddenly slowed. Unusual because there are no traffic lights on the highway until you reach Dubai. Suddenly there was this guy on the road waving and screaming in Arabic. The traffic came to a stand still. We suspected an accident. We were right. But totally wrong about the enormity of the incident. This is what happened...

"...a terrible crash involving more than 200 cars occurred in the 25km stretch of Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway near Ghantoot. The massive car pile-up was due to heavy fog lingering in the air. There were up to 25 cars in arson, leaving a death toll at least 6 persons so far and hundreds injured in what is known to be the country’s biggest vehicle crash in history..."

After the trafffic jams & diversions we were in Dubai 6 hours later. We came back in the evening and saw the debris still being cleaned away. It was BAD. We were glad we were back back in one piece. We were glad that we were late.

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