The news came in at about 8 AM yesterday.I was doing something on my laptop with the radio on and that was where I first heard it. It was said in a cautious tone - almost as if the announcer wasn't entirely sure of all the facts and in retrospect I realize that it really must have been the case. All that stayed with me was that there had been a terrible accident on Qurum heights and they were awaiting more details.
Later in the day, it became clear, three children from the Pakistan School, Muscat were dead and two were critically injured. Blood donations were called for and as the word spread, the shock and horror felt by all, slowly moved towards anger. Three children between 9 and 16 years of age had died and I'm sure that as far as parents of school going children were concerned,any of the dead children could have been someone they knew. Or even worse, it could have happened to any of their children.
To read more about this tragedy, please click here-
( Link Courtesy- Times of Oman)
People were very worried and they were also very angry.This feeling was shared across the country and this is where the responsibility of the press came in. All I saw today in the Press were balanced and accurate reports that reflected all that I've mentioned above.
This afternoon I drove down to check out the spot for myself, hoping against hope that I might see some change in the driving style and patterns of people after news of this tragedy. But I was wrong, because I saw no change at all. Things were as bad , if not worse than yesterday. People talking on the phone while driving, texting without a care in the world,cutting across lanes and tailgating other drivers who were driving at the prescribed limits.
|Heading from Qurum towards Darsayt|
In the photograph just above, you will see how the lanes converge and the rush during lunch hour can be really difficult.