Sharjah: An Asian man was injured after he was literally hurled out of his first-flloor apartment by a powerful explosion triggered by a suspected cylinder gas leak in Sharjah Industrial Area No. 10 on Friday morning.
The blast caused severe damage to the two-storey building when at least two concrete wall panels were blown away and crushed five vehicles parked below.
The man, who was flung out of the building, "miraculously" cheated death and suffered only moderate injuries after the blast ripped out the concrete wall, said police.
The Sharjah police central operations room received a call at 7.10 am about the explosion which took place on the first floor.
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When police arrived at the scene along with the Civil Defence team and paramedics, they found the blown-out wall of the apartment where the gas cylinder had exploded.
Five cars parked below the building were crushed when the building’s wall collapsed. -- Photo credit: Sharjah Police
Police said that the man was thrown out of the building due to the explosion. The man was rushed to Al Kuwaiti hospital for treatment. The gas blast also damaged other units within the building.
Rescue personnel evacuated the building residents. As many as 77 persons were evacuated, including nine families consisting of 34 members.
Police and Red Crescent officials provided accommodation to the residents until the owner of the building completed the maintenance work of the building.
Colonel Adel Al Mazimi, a fire expert at Sharjah Police forensic laboratory, said the source of the gas explosion was a gas leak through the gas extension which connected the gas cylinder with the stove.
The cooking gas in the unit consists of a mixture of a propane and butane, he explained.
When it mixes with a percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere and the unit is sealed, it becomes dangerous and potentially inflammable, he explained, if there is a spark — as what happened in this Friday incident.
Colonel Al Mazimi urged residents to follow safety instructions for storage and use of gas cylinders.
He also urged residents to keep gas cylinders away from sunlight or heat and away from the stove.
Regular checks for structural damage and leaks, placing cylinders in an upright position, and keeping them in a well-ventilated and covered area are also important, he said.