Published on 28 Oct 2012
There was a terrible accident last evening in Siwa. One car flipped multiple times 100 meters near the camp. The driver was badly injured and currently in Marsa Matrouh for hospital care. Our dear friend Sabra passed away. Another person is also in Marsa Matrouh for broken arm. One other person is on the way to Cairo right now for more thorough check in a Cairo hospital. The other 5 people were in Siwa General Hospital for minor injuries.
Above information is tentative and I will give more updates as more information becomes clearer today.
1900 UPDATE (October 28 2012)
One of the person in the accident has been successfully transported using ambulance from Siwa to Cairo. He is now under the good care of Al Salaam Hospital in Maadi, Cairo.
The other one in Mars Matrouah has successfully undergone an internal operation and been stabilized. He will be transported tomorrow morning to Dar el Fouad Hospital at 6th of October.
All the others people involved in the accident that does not require extensive hospitalization are on the way to Cairo now.
Our dear friend Sabra is being transported to her hometown for burial tonight.
0900 UPDATE (October 29 2012)
Sabra funeral was held yesterday.
The person in Mars Matrouah hospital is being airlifted to Paris for further treatment today. He suffered multiple serious injuries but right now in stable condition with positive outlook.
The person in Al Salaam Hospital is in recovery. Today he will know whether an operation or only brace is required to fix his fractured next.
The rest of people involved in the accident arrived in Cairo last night.
0010 UPDATE (October 30 2012)
The air ambulance for patient in Mars Matrouah was delayed yesterday until today due to landing permit issue. The plane has left the UAE and is landing in 3 hours. There shall no more delay.
Once his flight began, the two people currently accompanying him at Marsa Matrouah would be transported to Cairo.
The patient at Al Salaam Hospital had a successful surgery to fix his fractured neck and is recovering well.
The rest of the people involved in the accident were checked yesterday at Al Saalam Hospital and found to be in good health. One person require a sling on her right arm.
All of these are coordinated by a group of volunteers to ensure that everyone is taken care of.
0900 UPDATE (October 31 2012)
The air ambulance has delivered the patient from Marsa Matrouah to Parise safely last night.
The two people that kept the patient company during the emergency have safely returned to Cairo.
The whole process of evacuations started within hours of the accident last Saturday evening and finally completed yesterday night (Tuesday). It is a result of amazing collaborations between friends and strangers to take care everyone involved.
There will be more things to take care of in the coming days but the emergencies are over.
1900 UPDATE (November 5, 2012)
Khaled, the driver of the jeep involved in the accident, passed away today due to his injuries.
The desert in Siwa (including the Great Sand Sea national park) is a beautiful and serene place but not without its danger. Everybody that goes in Safari is required to be registered in the Siwa tourist office (with a copy of passport) and pay a national park fee. So the safari is well regulated and tracked.
Most trips in the desert are within mobile phone range. For deep expedition into the Western Desert, satellites phones are supplied. There is a military base in Siwa and its helicopter can be used in emergency to be evacuated to Cairo when needed. There is a hospital in Siwa and a more established one is located 3 hours away in Marsa Matrouah.
Every year there is one or two accidents in Siwa in the desert but they are usually minor or involved special trip that involves high performance stunts by professionals. Last year they had to evacuate a Norwegian citizen involved in accident with his motorbike in the desert.
The last major accident involving an ordinary tour happened 3 years ago that killed an Australian citizen (she traveled with her guide and a driver) due to terrible visibility in travelling in sand storm.
This accident happened on a flat surface, with a car behind a leading car with campsite within sights at 6PM on the second day of Eid holiday. There are reports that driver has been drinking alcohol throughout the day which was a major violation of safety practice and local custom (especially in a such big religious holiday as Eid). The Eid holiday period has always been a major busy time for the independent safari drivers in Siwa. This accident was a tragic and preventable accident that claim two lives (including the driver) and injured many people. Fortunately that the necessary evacuations were executed flawlessly.
The traveler operators and drivers in Siwa are small and tight knitted community. The drivers are independent and they are organized by various travel operators (including Siwawi) and hotels in Siwa. Everybody is known to everyone and the community express deep regret and sorrows to those that die and injured in this accident.