Abu Dhabi gas explosion: Restaurant owner recounts events just before blast

Three of the staff members injured in the blast are in serious condition


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Tue 24 May 2022, 4:09 PM

Eight staff members of a restaurant were among the over 100 injured in a gas explosion in a building in Abu Dhabi, the eatery’s owner has said.

Two people, including an Indian expat, were killed and 120 injured in the gas explosion at the popular restaurant in the Khalidiyah area. While 64 people suffered minor injuries, 56 others had moderate ones.

Basheer Athrinkal, co-owner of Food Care Restaurant, said three of his staff members are hospitalised in a serious condition. The other five have minor to moderate injuries.

Recounting the sequence of events, Athrinkal told Khaleej Times: “The incident happened at 1pm. We had 10 staff members on duty at the time. Two employees were away, delivering food, and the other eight were inside the restaurant.”

Food Care Restaurant.
Food Care Restaurant.

The restaurant, which is popular among Indian expats, is known for its Malabar cuisine. It has been up and running for the past 12 years.

The co-owner of the restaurant did not have the exact number of diners present at the eatery at the time of the explosion.

“Lunch time had just begun by then. Our seating capacity is around 40.”

The incident occurred in an area near Khalidiyah Mall and Shining Tower, which is thickly populated with several residential buildings and restaurants with the majority expat community hailing from the Indian subcontinent and the rest from Arab countries and the Philippines.


Athrinkal pointed to a possible leakage in the central gas system. The restaurant, he said, has a separate gas system.

“We have a gas leak detector inside. Detecting a leak, our gas system inside the restaurant got shut down automatically.

“But the connection of the pipe of the central gas system runs through our dining area.”

The explosion impacted the entire building, he said, and not just the restaurant. “The initial fire started from here.”

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