Updated at 6pm to include more information from the scene of the incident.
At least four people have apparently been killed and several more injured this afternoon following a crash at a crowded Karwa bus station in Old Ghanim, near Souq Waqif.
Witnesses at the station told Doha News that the accident took place around 12:30pm, when a bus crashed through concrete barriers, striking and running over people who were standing nearby.
Mowasalat staff at the station declined to comment on what happened, referring the matter to the company’s public relations department, which was not immediately available. Police quickly moved in to rope off the area following the accident, according to witnesses.
Though the number of the deceased and injured cannot be confirmed, a photo circulating on Whatsapp shows two men lying still on the ground at the scene of the accident.
One is underneath the bus, and one appears to have been struck by the back end. Doha News is not publishing the photo out of respect for the deceased.
Another photo clearly shows the bus had plowed through concrete barriers, striking people and a taxi before coming to a rest.
Friday is one of the busiest days at the station, because many people have the day off and flock there to use the public transportation.
According to a witness, the bus was arriving from Al Gharafa and had unloaded its passengers at another part of the busy terminal before pulling in to pick up passengers for its return trip.
The main passenger area of the site consists of a long concrete island with a single lane running along one side and a large paved lot for buses to idle, turn around and collect passengers on the other.
This particular bus was pulling into the stop marked for routes 56 and 156.
Photos taken after the crash and damage at the scene suggest that the bus climbed over a parking block, jumped the curb, crashed through two large concrete barriers, drove through the passenger island and came to a stop in the adjacent parking lot after t-boning a taxi cab.
It is not clear what caused the accident, though one witness said he observed the bus accelerating at the last moment.
The witness was critical of the layout and design of the bus terminal. He pointed out that the concrete barriers are placed some six to eight feet away from the curb, and that the heavy passenger traffic meant many people are forced to walk outside the shielded area, between the barriers and the curb.
However, it’s not clear that moving the barriers outwards would have made a difference to today’s incident, given that the large concrete slabs failed to stop the bus.
By 3pm, operations appeared to have returned to normal at the bus terminal, where several security guards yelled, with mixed results, at waiting passengers to stay off the paved lot and instead queue on the passenger island.
This is not the first time a bus has lost control and struck commuters in Doha. Last summer, a vehicle drove into a crowd of people at the same station, injuring more than a dozen after the driver apparently lost control of his bus.
A patient in the hospital told Doha News at the time that he was sitting in the shelter when the bus rammed into him, and the shelter collapsed. That incident took place on a Sunday evening in August, and there don’t appear to have been any deaths.
That driver had apparently hit the accelerator of the bus instead of the brake.
Does anyone know more? Thoughts?
This is awful, I would hope the authorities will use this as a catalyst to build a proper bus station that is safe, secure and meets the needs of the thousands of people who use buses.
The authorities? lol… that’s cute
Wow here I was going to offer condolences … And Qatar bashing has started .. How the heck do you protect people if a 5 ton bus decides to accelerates into a bus stop.. Even if barriers were placed that would not have protected them
Environmental design, so they can not reach speeds to plough through said barriers, appropriate licensing and testing, world standard bollards and barriers, the list goes on. And..where is the learning? The same thing happened last year, but no action taken to make it safe..negligence resulting in 4 poor innocent souls killed today..negligence…
NO ACTION TAKEN??? have you EVER SET FOOT in the Doha Bus Station?!?!? No. i thought so. apparently the authorities –after the first accident they did put up concrete barriers and concrete stoppers..you don’t know half the crap you’re saying.
I don’t think that the language is necessary Saleem however it is disguised.
You have no idea what environmental design means sadam clearly. If note had been taken of previous deaths then a lot more would have been done. And yes I have been there I was one of the only westerns that actually used the bus in Qatar. Used to catch the bus from Al sadd to Fanar for Arabic lessons. Lay of the hate pills pal and dose up on the reality pills.
The concrete barriers should be a last resort, having said that my local bus station has no concrete barriers at all, and no one has ever died there.
Having people who knew how to drive and enforcement of bad driving behaviour, whether local or expat would be a start.
Hey genius, have you ever thought of the welfare of the driver first?
I have no idea what you are trying to express
they wouldn’t be Bus drivers if they didn’t know how to drive.
2nd. Have you ever thought that the drivers could have been simply overworked and fatigued and that these are traffic law abiding, professional drivers to begin with.
i would say around 90% of people don’t know how to drive, or as in the case of western expats, drive in a fashion that they would never do in there home country.
I cannot disagreee with your overworked or fatigued comment
Hahahaha. Are you kidding. Of course they can be bus drivers without knowing how to drive. Go to a building site and ask the electrician for his trade qual and certificate of currency…you people are so out of touch with reality.
Every day I sit on my verandah and enjoy a cup of tea and every day at almost the exact same time I watch a school bus driver make an illegal turn and drive the wrong way up a one way street to drop school children off at the “5 star” Governer Hotel & Residences at West Bay, just near CC. A professional driver in charge of 20 or so kids, every single school day. Shame.
there are speed cams on the high ways if possibly it should be there in the bus stations. the traffic speed camera controllers should be able to present the speed of the vehicle when it arrived the bus station. as for being over worked and fatigue, I did not argue on that cos most of the drivers are never being given enough rest since they need to account daily for the bus in their custody
I suggest you go back to your local bus station and enjoy it safely and leave this country. I’m sick and tired of people like you who spit in the hand that feeds them. Shame on you!
oh no, ive upset someone on the internet. someone who, it would seem, prefers people being killed over any criticism of the traffice rules.
There you go again with the ignorant assumptions. Its obvious you criticize everything and bash everything this country tries to do it without offering your professional guidance. Any moron could say “having people who know how to drive…would be a start”. Give us more of your first world knowledge on road safety oh wise one!
Haha, I love when my comments get people worked up into a foaming frenzy. Automatic win by default.
Foaming frenzy? No, I’m sorry but you didn’t succeed in that. Try harder. But if it makes you sleep well at night then ok you won!
I’m drenched in tears!
i hope we know what really happened and justice will be given to the victims. i still take karwa buses to and from work because i believe using mass public transport is more environmentally efficient, they’re much cheaper and i trust karwa bus drivers (yeah, i know right?) more than i do taxi drivers—or myself learning to drive ^_^. steps have been taken to prevent last year’s incident from happening again by putting those concrete barriers at the bus stops but unfortunately, today’s accident proved that they are inadequate. they’ve been suffering neglect for the past few years, e.g. poorly maintained buses (and the general lack of buses and drivers they’ve been dealing with for years) and the lack of benefits provided to the drivers—they’re not even allowed to cook or wash their clothes in their company accommodation.
i’ve seen the number of bus passengers increase over the past few years but their management has chosen instead to waste money on a free service at west bay that no one uses while bus 76 to and from city center is way too overcrowded during rush hours.
Bus driver could have had heart attack or collapsed with exhaustion are also possibilities – on a recent trip to northern Qatar we had to keep shouting at the bus driver to keep him awake.. As for bollards I’ve seen bus terminals in European countries where the waiting passengers sit on benches in front of the arriving bus and would have no chance if a driver hit the wrong pedal.. Stop speculating and Qatar bashing until the facts are known.
I would ignore some comments here,,, RIP those who died, and I hope anybody who was hurt gets better.
This particular bus stand is actually waiting for a bigger disaster to happen. Its worse then a cattle market in Asia or Africa. No senior team members are ever around to keep a watch on whats going on there or to monitor the running of the station, the buses or the drivers and to check that all safety procedures and practices are being followed. The station seems to be a paradise for private taxi operators who run their illegal and dirty taxis from this place and regularly abuse, harass and bad mouth passengers who don’t want to use their services. Besides the stinking and smelly toilets for just the males only at one of the entrances says a lot about the safety and hygiene practices followed at this location. Hope they will learn a lesson from atleast this tragedy and make improvements to stop such avoidable things happening again and again
My highest condolence to those who lost their lives in the accident. They might were enjoying the day off with the good atmosphere, they might were preparing to visit a family or friends.R.I.P My best wishes to those who were seriously injured. I say get well soon. I feel sorry to the poor Bus Driver. I can imagine how he felt when he made the accident. How do you feel when you make accident only to damage the vehicle? Concrete or whatever barrier, it has happened and now it’s time for Karwa to wake up. If medical check up reveal that the driver was in the influence of alcohol or exhaustion, it’s time to swipe clean of the individuals who are involved in retailing cheap illegal alcohol in front of the main entrance of Karwa Accommodation. You can see lots of drivers drunk every evening specially on week ends. Wish Doha News can go and check there!
“Mowasalat staff at the station declined to comment on what happened, referring the matter to the company’s public relations department, which was not immediately available…”
Another PR brain freeze in Qatar. You have to say something, ANYTHING.
Qatarisation off to a poor start at Karwa. (“I always thought these buses would handle more like a Land Cruiser….. “)
Yes, when the victims are not of your “class” or “race” it is permitted to find some humor out of a terrible tragedy, nothing surprising here, typical of your type…
looking at their refusal to comment has to do with the rules guiding the company’s code so they have the right to decline until the public relations were around. some times an arrested person refuses to talk to the police until the arrival of his or her lawyer who might be even more far away
Condolences to all involved.And I confer with A_qrt below, it appears the bus accelerated,for whatever reason I do not know, so I will not jump to conclusions about how the bus station could have been designed in that type of situation.Thankfully it was not at a busy intersection somewhere else.
And they are building high speed trains?.. hmmm No thanks, I’ll drive
is driving really much safer here in qatar? any statistics on how many accidents happen to private cars as opposed to public buses?
Get your head out of your butt! Accidents happen.
Santiago de Compostela rail disaster in Spain occurred in summer 2013 killing 79 and injuring 140.
17 August 2010 – United Kingdom – A sewage tanker lorry strikes and derails a passenger train (the 17.31 service from Sudbury to Marks Tey) on a level crossing at Little Cornard, Suffolk. Eighteen people are injured, two of them seriously.
12 September 2010 – Sweden – A woman dies, two people are seriously injured and 15 more are brought to hospital with minor injuries, when an X 2000 high speed train collides with a backhoe loader at Kimstad near Linköping
12 June 2012 – Germany – A tram ran full speed into two waiting trams at a tramstop in Essen. The operator of the tram was unable to stop within time to avoid a collision. 28 people are injured.
24 June 2012 – United States – Three crew members were killed
when two Union Pacific trains slammed into each other just east of
Goodwell, about 480 kilometres northwest of Oklahoma City. The crash
triggered a diesel-fueled fireball that appeared to weld the locomotives
21 August 2012 – United States – Two women celebrating the
night before their return to university on a railway bridge die shortly
after midnight when a CSX coal train derails on the bridge in downtown Ellicott City, Maryland, burying the women under coal. The NTSB investigation attributed the probable cause of the derailment to a broken rail
12 July 2013 – France – Brétigny-sur-Orge – A passenger train with 385 passengers is derailed at speed by a track defect soon after leaving Paris, and smashes into a station platform. Six are confirmed dead and almost 200 are injured.
My heads is most definitely out of my butt, I wonder where yours is.
You are giving me random dates where things gone wrong elsewhere in the world as an argument? hahaha, you must be a fresh Qatar hire. My young friend:
191 Nepalese dead, construction “accidents”
225 Indians dead, construction “accidents”
50 others (my assumption), construction “accidents”
250 Car accidents death
Not counting ANY other forms of accident related death cases in Qatar, you have way more than 700 people dying every year from accidents. Qatar has 2.2 million people inside it and Qatar is as big as a City in most of the countries you are providing.
You have got to be a complete tool if you think these numbers can be matched anywhere in the world.
the death and injuries to the victims its a pity. what happened to the driver and why should the station start running again the same day?
gulf times says the driver is in police custody. and what alternatives do you suggest if they shut down the station? a lot of people depend on the karwa bus system for transportation. it’s far from perfect, but it works and it’s the only one we have in qatar. the only way for most of the laborers hanging out at the souqs and bus station areas to get back to their labour accommodations yesterday is through the karwa buses.
i myself would be frantic with worry if it won’t be up and running when i have to go to work tomorrow since i cannot afford a 60 riyal daily taxi fare when it would cost me only 5 riyals by bus.
What “bus station”? It is a piece land with no facilities that looks more like a goat market.
Four dead, that’s QAR 800,000. – blood-money. Some damage to a few cars, that’s maybe another 500,000. -. Do you think they really care for that pocket money in the “Richest Country in the World?
na i don’t think they care
Could someone from the company that runs this services stand up and let us know what remedial action is being taken to avoid this incidents happening again. For a start how about sending all the vehicles for a proper mantainance and road safety check and the next thing they could start will all of the drivers by sending them for retraining and also remind them to keep their hands on the wheel and minds on the road ahead and their mobiles in their handbags to avoid any distractions while driving. They should be kept aware that they are responsible for the safety of their vehicle and the passengers they carry.
……Meanwhile as per the Peninsula newspaper, at its last session, the Central Municipal Council (CMC) discussed the conduct of drivers of public transport buses (Karwa). Councillors said drivers lacked good skills and behaviour. The public representative body asked Mowasalat to organise intensive courses to help improve the efficiency of its drivers.
It is dreadful that such a proud five star location as Qatar has this as an excuse for a bus station. Go to Abu Dhabi, go to Dubai, and you will see what a real bus station should look like. Mowsalat should be made to invest in proper, safe, convenient facilities if they want to keep their charter.
Doha news deleting comments out of fear…journalism I think not..scared of the regime I think so.
Why so many angry people when condolences are the only emotion anyone should be feeling? That could have been me, you, my child, your child, my mother, father. Accept the differences, good and bad, that our host country has to offer or please leave.
With all due respect Mowasalat I think is one of the most incompetent companies in Qatar. They have no clue how to design the routes to better serve the citizens. Gathering all routes in one spot in the middle of town instead of buses crossing the city and and intersecting each other in different places it’s sheer incompetence. RIP deceased, may Allah protect their families.
Karwa bus & taxi Driver Look more power full in Qatar than any institution in Qatar Like police or any other law enforcement agency?