Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Tragic accident on Tripoli highway!

Tripoli highway 31-01-05

Was flooded with emails today from friends back in Libya regarding a car accident in Tripoli. Well we are used to fatal car accident on a daily basis there ( so what's new?) but this one was more gruesome to the extent it warranted the attention of the news and all these emails...
A 25 car pile up occured yesterday on the Tripoli highway coinciding with rush hour time from the University of El-fateh. A leaking oil tanker hit a small car and all hell broke loose. An acquaintance said that at least 11 of the cars were a wrecked carbonized mass. So far the news about the fatalities are conflicting.The police sources on this Libyan website have mentioned 2 deaths and 7 severe injuries reported in hospital, but eyewitnesses and myself are contesting that . Eyewitnesses say that until last night at 19.00 hrs the death toll was 6 while 25 cars were burnt, one of them being a microbus for 25 people, usually used as cheap transport by students. In fact one of the eyewitnesses upon seeing that bus, rushed over to the university to see if his sister was safe, it turns out she had taken a 5 minutes earlier bus. Tragically a whole family who was travelling in the small car that was hit first by the tanker has been wiped out. This first car caught fire then the fire followed the trail of oil which had leaked on the highway, lit the unsuspecting other cars ablaze. The photo that I have posted is not clea, as it was probably taken by a mobile phone from a safe distance, but you can judge yourself the catastrophe. It is indeed a very sad accident not only because of the human aspect but also because in Libya the population is so small and everybody knows someone who was at least affected whether directly or indirectly by it. Another friend doctor at the central hospital in Tripoli said that ambulances from many Tripoli hospitals had been dispatched to the scene.
I'm very angry because the Tripoli 'circular' highway is literally a death trap; if even a tiny accident happens traffic will be held up for kilometres because it is sealed off in the middle and there are no side alley were help can come from swiftly. If I'm really in a hurry I don't take the highway because I'm afraid to be delayed by an accident. We Libyans are raving lunatics when it comes to driving, speed is our intoxicting agent. I admit that I've been guilty of that as well on many occasions. My father said that it was all the fault of a rubbish collection truck which kept swerving towards the oil tanker.
I was so worried that I contacted all my friends and family to check on their safety, thank God all are fine but I am so sorry for those who did not make it. May they rest in Peace.


smokey spice said...

Oh my God!! What horrible news highlander! I guess I'll be on the phone tonight, won't I.
Thanks for the info.

khadijateri said...

Thanks for the report! I don't think anyone will ever get all the facts straight.

Highlander said...

You're welcome !