Accident In Egypt
A French woman who has been resident in the UK for the last 7 years has described how she sustained multiple injuries after the tour bus she was travelling on in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula lost control and crashed on the same route that earlier this week saw a similar accident kill seven holiday makers.
Audrey Beylemans (29) from Hanger Green, London was on holiday in Egypt and was on an excursion to Mount Sinai on April 1st 2008 when the driver of the tour bus she was travelling on lost control, causing the bus to overturn.
Miss Beylemans was rescued after emergency services cut through the roof of the bus. The driver was killed in the accident and a total of 17 people were injured.
Earlier this week, on the same route, a coach crashed killing seven people and injuring 16, including British holiday makers. The bus overturned at a sharp curve in the road as it headed from the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to the Egyptian capital, Cairo and caught fire.
As a result of her accident, Miss Beylemans suffered multiple injuries including a crushed vertebra, two fractured vertebrae and deep lacerations to the head and body requiring stitches.
She was taken to the Dahab Hospital where she received emergency treatment before being transferred to Sharm El Sheikh Hospital where she remained for two days before being flown back to England by air ambulance to Central Middlesex Hospital.
Miss Beylemans, who is now recovering at her home, said "I think that the coach was being driven much too quickly for the road conditions. The fact that there have been 2 fatal coach accidents involving British tourists on the same road and within a matter of weeks clearly shows that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of coach passengers in the country. In particular more needs to be done to maintain safe speeds on dangerous stretches of roads. The provision of seatbelts in our coach would have also reduced the seriousness of the injuries suffered by myself and my fellow passengers."
According to the latest statistics, at least 8,000 people were killed in accidents on Egyptian roads in 2006 with speeding, careless driving and poor road conditions given as the most common cause of these deaths.
Clive Garner, Head of Travel Law team at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors representing Miss Beylemans, said "This week's tragic bus crash in Egypt is the third accident of its kind in the country during the past month. The regulations we have in the UK to ensure our safety when travelling on coaches and buses, including rigorous vehicle and driver tests, are often taken for granted by British holiday makers when travelling abroad.
"However our experience of representing hundreds of Britons involved in more than 25 coach crashes around the world has taught us that safety standards in many countries, including some of the more exotic holiday destinations popular with British tourists are often significantly below those in the UK.
"We continue to call for improved measures to protect coach travellers abroad including stricter licensing and monitoring of coach drivers and operators, more rigorous maintenance of coaches and the avoidance of dangerous routes by bus and tour operators particularly in adverse weather conditions.
"These simple improvements cost little whilst significantly reducing the risks to coach passengers of injury and death abroad."
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