Two killed and 120 injured in gas cylinder blast in central Abu Dhabi

Residents of Khalidiya heard bang and felt windows shake

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Two people died and 120 were injured in a gas explosion in central Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Abu Dhabi Police said a gas cylinder had exploded in a restaurant in Khalidiya.

The force said two people had died, 56 suffered moderate injuries and another 64 had minor injuries, according to initial figures received on site from Abu Dhabi Civil Defence.

Police said on Twitter that the injured were taken to hospital and that shops and six buildings were damaged.

Specialist teams remain at the site, the force stated.

It shared its “sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the deceased”.

No further information on fatalities was disclosed.

Nearby residents heard a bang and felt their windows shake shortly after 1pm. Smoke was seen rising from the area.

Police have cordoned off several roads close to the Shining Towers complex, a local landmark. The blast occurred in a low-rise residential building nearby.

Images showed vehicles in the vicinity had been showered with debris. Police said four residential buildings were evacuated and that some owners had reported damage to their facades.

“Civil Defence is dealing with a fire resulting from a gas cylinder explosion in a restaurant in the Khalidiya area,” Abu Dhabi Police said in a tweet.

“Initial reports indicate that there were injuries caused by the explosion as well as several shops affected.

“The building where the explosion took place has been evacuated and experts are on the scene to assess the situation.

“Work is under way to provide temporary housing until the buildings are completely secured.”

A man who works nearby told The National he heard two loud bangs at about lunchtime.

“The first sound was small and people started calling the fire and police,” he said.

“Then soon, there was a big blast. It was a really big sound. The windows shook and in some offices, the windows shattered.”

Updated: May 24, 2022, 9:52 AM