Three people have been killed and several others injured in two separate explosions in the United Arab Emirates’ capital Abu Dhabi and its tourism hub of Dubai.
The Abu Dhabi government media office said two people were killed on Monday in the blast in the capital, which The National daily reported had hit the KFC and Hardees restaurants on the city’s Rashid bin Saeed Street.
The street is also known as a main road to the airport, where top aides to US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are expected to land later on Monday, in a historic trip between Israel and another Arab country.
The police said the Abu Dhabi incident also caused several minor and moderate injuries, and residents of the building and surrounding areas were evacuated.
Abu Dhabi police are dealing with a suspected gas explosion at a restaurant in Rashid bin Saeed Street. The incident caused minor-to-medium injuries. Police have evacuated the building and secured the area.
More to follow. pic.twitter.com/mQlQYpCrGE
— The National (@TheNationalUAE) August 31, 2020
The Abu Dhabi government media office said the blast was caused by a “misalignment in the gas container fittings following refuelling”.
Police said it had evacuated all residents from the building safely with no injuries.
“Rapid intervention teams from the Emergency and Public Safety Department from Abu Dhabi Police are working to carry out a comprehensive checkup of the building and neighbouring buildings to ensure that there are no further injuries, and to ensure residents’ safety,” it tweeted.
“Unfortunately, two victims lost their lives – one near the site of the incident, and a second passer-by who was hit by debris. We extend our heartfelt condolences to their families, God rest their souls.
“Relevant teams are arranging temporary accommodation for residents until the building’s safety is assured.”
अबूज़हबी और दुबई में धमाका…
— Mohammad Asif (@Asif_Mau_) August 31, 2020
Photos published on social and local media showed extensive damage to the two restaurants with a white plume of smoke rising from the ground floor of the building.
In Dubai, one person was killed when a gas cylinder exploded in a restaurant early on Monday, local media reported.
Abu Dhabi-owned The National newspaper, quoting a Dubai Civil Defence spokesperson, said the blast in Dubai had caused a blaze that damaged the ground floor of the building.
The fire was controlled within 33 minutes, it added.