Minister of Business and Trade dies in traffic accident

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Qatar’s Minister of Business and Trade, H E Sheikh Fahad bin Jassem Al Thani, died after the car he was driving met an accident late on Thursday night.

A Land Cruiser coming in from the opposite direction suddenly lost control and crossed over to the track on his left in which the Minister was driving and hit his car which was left severely damaged.

The driver of the Land Cruiser, a 30-year-old national, has been arrested and referred to Public Prosecution for legal action.

So severe was the impact of the collision that the Minister died on the spot, while a friend of his who was traveling with him suffered critical injuries.

According to eye witness accounts, the man was rushed for emergency medical care and his condition was described by sources yesterday as out of danger. The accident took place at around midnight on Thursday on Doha-Al Wakra highway. Sheikh Fahad was driving towards Al Wakra, while the Land Cruiser was speeding towards Doha.

The last rites of the Minister were performed yesterday and the prayers were held at Al Wukair mosque near Al Wakra.

Sheikh Fahad, a handsome man of 40, held a bachelor’s degree in communications engineering from the University of Kent and was operations manager at Qatar Telecom (Qtel) for a number of years. He was assigned the responsibility of heading the high-profile Business and Trade Ministry in July last year.

The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber Al Thani, said in a condolence message issued through Qatar News Agency that he and his cabinet colleague deeply mourn the sad and untimely demise of Sheikh Fahad and convey their heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.

Qtel’s CEO, Nasser Marfih, said he was deeply pained by the death of his former colleague and said he was one of the pioneers whose contribution to the growth and success of Qtel is unforgettable.

http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=Local_News&subsection=Qatar+News&month=May2009&file=Local_News200905023014.xml