Abu Dhabi gas explosion: Residents report hearing loud blast, seeing huge fire

Police teams are still patrolling the area with several streets being cordoned off



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Mon 23 May 2022, 6:07 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 May 2022, 9:03 PM

Several people have been injured in Abu Dhabi city after a gas cylinder explosion, according to authorities.

The incident occurred during lunchtime at a popular restaurant near Khalidiyah Mall.

The Civil Defence has managed to extinguish the fire. Police teams are still patrolling the area, with several streets being cordoned off.

However, residents and eyewitnesses are reporting more than one explosion, with the first occurring between 12.45 pm and 1pm, followed by another one in a gap of 10 to 20 minutes, which caused severe damage.

“I was working in my laundry shop when I heard a big blast in the next street. It was just before 1pm. When I rushed to the spot, I saw fire and huge flames. Soon, the civil defence team reached the spot and was putting out the fire. Meanwhile, the nearby buildings were being evacuated. After 10-15 minutes, another gas explosion occurred. It was lunchtime, and the restaurant was a popular one thronged by residents, especially Keralites,” a shopkeeper said.

A resident, who lives on the same street, noted that the second blast resulted in several casualties.

“Police and civil defence rushed to the spot; there were ambulances too. In a matter of minutes, the second blast went off, injuring several people. I think 75 to 100 people were injured as many had gathered around after the first explosion.”

Another resident pointed out that after the first blast, there was a sizable crowd on the street who came out after hearing the sound.

“It’s a Kerala restaurant operating on the ground floor of a building. It is well-known for its tasty food. A lot of people came rushing to the spot after hearing the loud sound following the first explosion.”

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Some residents in the nearby streets reported that the windows of their buildings were damaged.

“Windows have been shattered in buildings and shops of the next street. It was a major fire and impact. I have not seen anything like this in my past 10 years here. Several ambulances were quick to rush the injured to hospitals.”

At 2.15pm, schools issued an SMS to parents saying that bus trips would get delayed in the Khalidiya area because of traffic blockage.


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