Ajman: A liquid-propane-gas explosion ripped through the early morning quiet of an Ajman neighbourhood on Wednesday, claiming the lives of one Ethiopian women and critically injuried three others, authorities said.
The blast was so violent that it blew out kitchen windows and knocked down a wall separating the food area and an adjacent bedroom.
When the wall collapsed, it crumbled on the two bodies of the two dead maids, police told Gulf News on Wednesday.
The lifeless body of a 47-year-old housemaid was pulled from the gnarled debris of the Al Jurif area home and prounounced dead at the scene while a second housemaid was later declared deceased by doctors at a nearby hospital.
The injured housemaids — one Ethiopian and another Indonesian — suffered serious injuries and remained in hospital at press time on Wednesday.
Lieutenant colonel Mohammad Al Ghafli, Director of Al Jurf Police Station, said early investigation on site said it appears the blast emanated from a LPG cylinder in the kitchen of the home.
Emergency responders were despatched to the scene after a family member, for whom the maids worked, called police and reported an explosion in the kitchen.
Brigadier Rashid Jassim Mijlad, director general of Ajman Civil Defence, said when police and paramedics descended upon the scene, they were greeted by a badly damaged kitchen, shattered windows and a collapsed kitchen wall.
The body of the deceased maids will be repatriated to Ethiopia as soon as all legal formalities and police investigations have been completed.
The latest gas-cylinder tragedy follows a string of similar incidents across the UAE since mid-2016 causing death or bodily injuries to victims caught in the wrath of highly volatile nature of escaped liquid propane gas.
An Arab man sustained serious burns after a gas cylinder exploded in his car in Al Hamidyah area in Ajman in December 2016. The cylinder was in the trunk of the car when it exploded, causing the car to burst into flames.
An Ethiopian housemaid, who sustained serious burns in a January 18 gas cylinder explosion at her employer’s residence in Ras Al Khaimah, died in hospital. She was preparing lunch when the blast tore through her employer’s kitchen after a gas leak.
An explosion on August 24, 2016 ripped through an apartment in Al Khail Gate community building last
critically injured two women, while a baby sustained minor injuries.Fire expert Mohammad Abu Eita, from the Forensic Engineering Department at Dubai Police’s Forensic Science and Criminology Department, said at the time that the results of the investigation confirmed that it was a gas explosion.
LPG safety tips
According to UAE-based ADNOC, LPG users should keep the following points in mind regarding transportation and storage:
Keep away from flames and sparks
Do NOT transport more than two cylinders at a time in one car
Do NOT leave inside the car during summer
Do NOT keep loosely fitted or laying down horizontally to avoid rolling
Do NOT place inside passenger compartment
Keep in a well-ventilated, well drained and covered area
Place properly in upright position
Follow safety instructions
Keep away from sunlight or heat and away from the stove
Regularly inspect for structural damage and leaks