Two Kuwaiti nationals were killed in a road accident on Friday evening when their car hit a stray camel on the International Ring Road 20 km from Al-Oyon city in Al-Ahsa.
One person died on the spot while the other succumbed to his injuries as he was being transferred to Al-Oyon Hospital. They were later moved to the morgue at the hospital.
A Qatari citizen who witnessed the accident said: “I was surprised by the appearance of the camel in the middle of the road. I had to pull over and alert the oncoming drivers about the animal.” He added that he was shocked to see another speeding vehicle hit the camel which rolled over several times.
Fahd Al-Ghamdi, official spokesperson of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, said: “The operation room in the Saudi Red Crescent Authority received calls from citizens reporting an accident on the ring road. Two ambulances were dispatched to the location immediately. The accident had resulted in a death, and another case which was in critical condition, who was transferred to a hospital in Al-Oyon city.”
Stray camels have often caused accidents and residents have called for erecting fences to keep the animals off the highways especially at night.
Passers-by at the location expressed their displeasure on social networks at the dangerous conditions prevailing on Al-Ahsa’s roads and highways and the risk of fatal accidents.
The increasing number of accidents involving camels on these highways has led to a number of citizens raising concerns about the safety of the highways, especially those which connect the Eastern province to other Gulf countries.
Citizens assert that the International Ring Road is among one of the most dangerous roads to drive on especially at night owing to inappropriate lighting and the stray camels which wander onto the road to cross over to the other side.
Citizens called on the Ministry of Transport to intervene and implement a project that would protect the lives of the people plying on the highway.
“Camels are a hazard for drivers on the Kingdom’s open roads. Yet the authorities continue to turn a blind eye to this deadly nuisance,” Abdullah Al-Otaibi, a resident, said, adding that there is need for a Road Act for camel owners who allow their animals to stray, posing a danger to road users.
However, Majed Assiri said: “We shouldn’t blame the animals. It is all about us and the way we drive as well as our respect for road signs.”