A suspected gas leak wreaked havoc in Abu Dhabi restaurants just a few hours ago, as of this writing.
According to the Abu Dhabi police, several people were injured and were taken to the hospital, “after sustaining minor and moderate injuries,” Khaleej Times reports.
Abu Dhabi explosion
The explosion reportedly happened on Rashid Bin Saeed Street. As this is a developing story, there is no official statements were released yet, further explaining the root cause of the blast.
Although, the Dubai Civil Defence spokesperson did confirm that there was “a gas cylinder explosion on the ground floor,” per The National.
Based on the spokesperson’s statement, a “cooking gas had leaked in the restaurant and a spark eventually triggered the explosion, causing a blaze which caused significant damage.”
The narrative is still unclear. What we know so far is that it “ripped through” restaurants, including a fast-food chain situated on the ground floor of the building.
The same media outlet confirms that the affected establishments were a KFC branch and Hardee’s restaurants. But as to which restaurant the gas leak originated was not revealed yet.
In addition, other retail outlets have been reported to be damaged too.
Pictures from social media showcase the intensity of the damage from the explosion. Nearby vehicles weren’t spared by the blast as well.
— azhar khan (@azharkhn4) August 31, 2020
Khaleej Times quotes the Abu Dhabi Police’s statement, saying:
“A report was received in the operation room this morning about an explosion in a restaurant. The rapid intervention teams immediately moved to Al Falah Centre in the Emergency Directorate and Public Safety at Abu Dhabi Police.”
One dead, many were injured
According to The National, one person has been confirmed to be dead. The man was identified to be of Asian descent. Unfortunately, the victim’s nationality, name, nor his age was not disclosed by the same Dubai Civil Defence spokesperson.
— INTELSky (@Intel_Sky) August 31, 2020
Emergency response teams have evacuated residents of the building as well.
They’ve also cordoned the area. While the Rapid Intervention Teams of the Emergency and Public Safety Directorate are present on-site to ensure the public’s safety.
.@ADPoliceHQ has evacuated all residents from the building safely with no injuries. Relevant teams are arranging temporary accommodation for residents until the building’s safety is assured.
— مكتب أبوظبي الإعلامي (@admediaoffice) August 31, 2020
A witness narrates to Khaleej Times about the incident. Accordingly, “the sound from the explosion was ‘so loud that it shook the area.'”
Taxi driver Julius Banks told the same publication, “I was driving in the area when the incident occurred. I heard a very loud sound. It was so scary.”
The response teams reportedly arrived at the scene within minutes after the explosion happened. They were able to control the fire within 30 minutes.
Featured image courtesy of Mo Ismail/Pexels