OPN 200901 Abu Dhabi Explosion
The Abu Dhabi building in which the gas explosion took place on Monday Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A Sri Lankan national had passed away while another one is receiving treatment at the ICU (intensive care unit) of a hospital, following a gas explosion at an Abu Dhabi residential building on Monday, the Sri Lanka Embassy confirmed on Thursday.

This brings the total number of deaths to three after Philippine authorities confirmed earlier that two Filipino expats died in the incident.

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Sri Lanka Embassy officials visited the hospital (after the incident) to verify and confirm information regarding two Sri Lankans victims. “One Sri Lankan had lost his life and the other is presently receiving treatment in the ICU in hospital,” the Sri Lanka Embassy posted on its website.

“The Sri Lanka Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Foreign Ministry are in contact with the UAE law enforcement and hospital authorities to provide necessary assistance,” the statement added.

According to Abu Dhabi Police, “The incident was caused by a leaking gas pipe in a residential building on Rashid Bin Saeed Road in Abu Dhabi. This mainly affected a restaurant in the building, as well as a neighbouring building. There was no other damage.”

Bereavement assistance

Meanwhile, the Philippine government has assured financial assistance and other benefits to the families of the two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who died in the inciden on August 31.

In a statement on Wednesday, Philppine Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III assured the families of the victims will each receive PhP 120,000 (approximately Dh9,100) as bereavement assistance.

“They will also get insurance benefits if they are qualified members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA),” Bello said.

“OWWA would be ready to provide additional aid allowed by law to the families of the victims. We will extend to them all the support the (Philippine) government can provide,” he said.

Injured being treated

Meanwhile, three of the eight Filipinos injured are still undergoing treatment in two separate hospitals, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday night.

“The DFA, through the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, confirms that five of the eight Filipinos injured have now been discharged from the hospital while the remaining three Filipinos are recovering in two separate hospitals,” said a statement from DFA.

“The DFA, through the Embassy, continues to monitor the situation of our fellow Filipinos in the UAE and remains ready to extend assistance. The Embassy likewise thanks the UAE Government for ensuring the affected Filipinos are cared for,” it added.