Gaza City explosion leaves at least 10 injured and one dead

Blast leaves buildings demolished in one of the Palestinian territory's main cities

Rescuers and onlookers gather at the scene of the blast in Gaza City, the cause of which has not yet been determined. AFP
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An explosion in a multistorey residential building east of Gaza city killed one person and injured at least 10, officials said on Thursday.

Videos on social media showed plumes of black smoke and extensive damage after the blast in the Al Zawiya market area.

The blast caused large parts of the apartment block to collapse and damaged dozens of buildings and shops nearby, according to a statement by the Gaza Strip's Interior Ministry.

Police explosives engineering teams continue to investigate the causes of the explosion. Civil defence teams and the police were able to control the resulting fire.

Police, civil defence and ambulance teams have taken the casualties to Al Shifaa hospital, the ministry said on Twitter.

“The explosion in a multistorey residential building led to its partial collapse and damage to nearby houses and shops,” interior ministry spokesman Iyad Bozum said on his Facebook page.

“One dead and 10 injured were transported to Al Shifaa hospital,” he said.

The Israeli army signalled it wasn’t involved, calling the crisis an “internal” matter in Gaza.

The blast shook the neighbourhood on the third day of Eid Al Adha.

Gaza was already struggling with heavy damage sustained from an 11-day war in May between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers. The devastation means celebrations this year were muted.

“Eid is for the people who have no destruction, have no [dead], it is for the people who did not see what we saw. What happened to us here in the Baali neighbourhood [in northern Gaza] makes everyone wonder how these people are still alive,” Esraa Nassir says.

Ms Nassir's home has a large hole in the wall from an Israeli shell. She and her family have a full view of the bustling streets below.

At least 254 people were killed in Gaza during the conflict, including 67 children and 39 women, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Hamas has acknowledged the deaths of 80 militants. Twelve civilians, including two children, were killed in Israel, along with one soldier.

The World Bank earlier this month said rebuilding Gaza would cost $485 million, including up to $380 million to repair the physical damage alone.

Updated: July 22, 2021, 5:20 PM