UK & World News

  • 12 February 2013, 13:32

Saudi Crash: British Boy Orphaned As Five Dead

A one-year-old boy was the only survivor of a car crash in Saudi Arabia that killed five members of his family from south Wales.

Mohammed Eisa Daniel was reportedly found in the crumpled wreckage being cradled in the arms of his dying grandfather.

Three generations of his family had been making a religious pilgrimage to Mecca ahead of the wedding of one of the victims when the taxi in which they were travelling crashed.

The dead, from Newport, have been named as Shaukat Ali Hayat, 56, his wife Abida, 54, eldest son Mohammed Isshaq, 33, daughter Saira Zenub, 29, who was due to marry this weekend, and Mohammed's heavily pregnant wife, Bilques, 30.

Their trip turned to tragedy when the taxi they were travelling in left a motorway while en route to Jedda.

Family members say the car went straight into a concrete bridge, somersaulted off the road and ended up in a ditch.

The South Wales Argus newspaper reported Mr Hayat's brother Sma Hayat, 58, as saying his sibling was a "well loved and liked" teacher and writer of Islam.

He also described Saira Zenub as a "very talented" locum pharmacist, while Mohammed Isshaq was hoping to do a doctorate in neuroscience at university.

"Shaukat saw what happened as the car went out of control," SmaHayat said. "He grabbed the baby, clutched it in his arms and cushioned him.

"The boy (Mohammed) has lost everyone but luckily he's pulled through."

The Argus reported that the five were buried on Monday in a graveyard called the Jannat-ul-Baqi, Medina, alongside famous names of the Islamic faith.

Newport West MP Paul Flynn told the paper that the Hayat family had been an important part of the Newport Labour Party for 40 years.

Mr Flynn said: "The head of the family came here after serving the British Army for a number of years and was a prisoner of war in the Second World War."

Mr Hayat's brother Ibrahim is a Labour councillor for Newport's Pillgwenlly ward.

Tribute was paid to the family by his colleague Ron Jones, who said it was "a massive and unbelievable tragedy".

"They were a tremendous family. They worked for us during the election. They were deeply involved in the community and were absolutely upstanding.

"There are a lot of people who are going to feel their passing very deeply."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it has been assisting the victims' relatives following the accident on Friday.

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