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Building cordoned off at Mankhool area PHOTO Suchitra Image Credit:

Dubai: One person has died and three others were injured in what appeared to be a cooking gas explosion at a building in Al Mankhool area on Saturday evening.

Rashid Hospital in a statement said they received three critical cases and one non-critical case following the explosion. They added, " One critical case patient arrived and was ongoing CPR and passed away shortly.

The other two patients, who were in a critical condition are currently receiving treatment at the ICU’s burn section. One patient is suffering from burns that cover 45 per cent of their body and the other is suffering from burns that cover 70 per cent of their body. The non-critical case received treatment for her injured arm and was discharged."

The sources said the explosion in the studio apartment on the sixth floor damaged windows and the wall of the seven-floor high building in Bur Dubai.

The suspected explosion inside a unit on the sixth floor damaged windows0001
The suspected explosion inside a unit on the sixth floor damaged windows — the entire window assembly came off the way — of the seven-storey building in Bur Dubai. Image Credit: Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary / Gulf News

There was no immediate statement from Civil Defence, but the sources said suspected the incident was triggered by a cooking gas explosion.

Pictures taken by Gulf News on Sunday morning showed a large hole — and the window panel missing.

The building which has over 100 apartments was cordoned off and the residents were shifted to a nearby building, sources said on Sunday.

Building owner’s statement to Gulf News
At 7pm, an incident occurred at Mankhool 455 Building, which is owned and operated by Al Ghurair Properties.
A gas leak in the building caused both external and internal damage, however, this was localised and did not affect the overall structure of the building, a statement to Gulf News said.

The building contains 104 apartments, of which 88 are occupied.

“The safety of residents and employees who work in the building is our primary concern, all residents were moved out of the building within one hour and accommodated in a nearby hotel,” the statement said.

Safety assessments are currently in progress to understand when tenants can return to their homes – this is likely to be within the next 48 hours.

The building has a piped gas line and residents told Gulf News on Sunday that the building was still being checked for other leakages as one could smell gas.

The residents have not been told when they would be allowed to enter their apartments to collect some bare essentials.

All residents were given accommodation in a neighbouring hotel apartment and have not been allowed to return home .

The explosion occurred on the sixth floor studio apartment but severely damage two more neighbouring apartments.

Dubai Police has cordoned off the building and the security of the building management was keeping everyone away.

Very loud explosion

Recounting the horror, a fourth-floor resident of the building said: “It was 7 pm when we heard this very loud explosion. For a few minutes, the floor and windows just vibrated. I had just come home from work and my wife and I gathered our children and ran out of the building."

It was 7 pm when we heard this very loud explosion. For a few minutes, the floor and windows just vibrated. I had just come home from work and my wife and I gathered our children and ran out of the building.

- Resident

Elevators stopped working

There were people in the elevators who were evacuated as elevators stopped working immediately.

A resident who stayed right below the damaged apartment said : “The moment I heard the deafening explosion I knew it was a gas explosion but had no idea it was right above me.”

Another resident who was walking home heard the explosion from at least 200 meters afar.

I could smell the gas

“I could smell the gas from that distance and was worried for my family. Luckily the building management made immediate arrangements for alternative stay for us.

The building is about three years old and has about 15 apartments on each floor.

Residents said although they were not sure of the victims they added that as per what they heard at least four people were injured in the accident and were Asians. Most of the building residents are Indians.

UPDATE:

Sources said one man died on the spot. At least one victim was an Indian from Mumbai, a relative said.

Gulf News learnt that the deceased was a building resident who was returning home with his daughter from her coaching class.

Two others, including a female resident and another gas technician sustained 70 per cent burns and were admitted to Rashid Hospital Trauma Care.

The brother of the female victim recounted the horror: “There was some problem in the gas pipeline as it wouldn't work. So my sister had lodged a complaint.

"The two technicians came in the evening and as soon as they began checking the pipeline, the explosion occurred. My sister and the other technician received 70 per burns and are on the ventilator at Rashid Hospital,” said the brother.

The victim, who was recently married, lived in the studio apartment with her husband. “She was so beautiful and was so happy. No one could have imagined such a thing,” said the brother.