Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 28 October 2020

Third person dies following Abu Dhabi gas explosion

A second Sri Lankan citizen is currently in critical condition, embassy says

A man has died in hospital after being wounded seriously in a gas explosion at an Abu Dhabi building this week.

An incorrectly installed canister blew up on Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Road – known locally as Airport Road – on Monday.

The force of the blast instantly killed two people and injured others. It also destroyed a KFC, neighbouring Hardee's and other shops near by.

On Thursday, the Sri Lankan Embassy in the UAE said one of their citizens died of his injuries while another was still in hospital.

Embassy officials visited the second citizen in the intensive care unit of a hospital. Three people have now died from the explosion.

"The Sri Lanka Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Foreign Ministry are in contact with the UAE law enforcement and hospital authorities to provide the necessary assistance," the embassy said.

The two people who died instantly on Monday were from the Philippines, the country's embassy confirmed.

It said ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana contacted the families of both victims to express condolences and assure them that they would be given "all necessary assistance".

The explosion happened about 10.15am. Authorities rushed to the site, evacuated the area and diverted traffic.

The typically busy street was closed until 6.30pm while clean-up operations were under way.

Civil Defence asked around the area for anyone who was injured so they could be taken to hospital.

Investigations showed the explosion was caused by a misalignment in the gas container fittings after the residential building was refuelled.

Police reminded the public to be careful when dealing with gas connections and other energy sources.

The cost of accommodation of more than 200 people who were left temporarily homeless by the blast will be covered by Emirates Red Crescent.

The humanitarian organisation will provide support for 208 people living in the building who had to be relocated.

ERC said volunteers from its Abu Dhabi centre were involved in the evacuation of the building and transferring residents to hotels in the city.

Updated: September 3, 2020 05:21 PM

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