Abu Dhabi: The mortal remains of an Indian national and a Pakistani national, who died in a gas explosion and fire in Abu Dhabi last Monday, will soon be repatriated with the support of UAE authorities.
The Indian Embassy and Pakistani Embassy confirmed that they were in contact with the authorities and the families of the deceased, in order to expedite the procedures.
“The Embassy is in regular contact with local authorities for early repatriation of the mortal remains of the deceased and has been assured of all support by the UAE authorities. Embassy officials have reached out to the families of the deceased and are extending every assistance in an expeditious manner,” the Indian Embassy said.
“We are coordinating with authorities in the UAE and are in contact with the family of the deceased and the remains will be repatriated soon,” confirmed a representative at the Pakistani Embassy.
A total of 120 residents sustained injuries in the incident, which occurred on Monday afternoon at a South Asian restaurant in the Al Khalidiya area. A gas cylinder exploded at the outlet, which was located in a five-storey building, resulting in a fire and damage to six other buildings, shop facades and vehicles in the vicinity.
Emergency response teams rushed to the site, evacuated the buildings and provided temporary accommodation to residents in the affected buildings until the structures were deemed safe for habitation.
Care for the injured
Meanwhile, the injured were taken to hospitals in Abu Dhabi for immediate medical attention and treatment.
“As per information provided by the UAE authorities, one Indian national is among those deceased and 106 Indian nationals suffered injuries. Urgent medical care is being provided to those injured in six Abu Dhabi [hospitals, and] the Embassy is closely monitoring the condition of the injured,” the Indian Embassy said.
The Pakistani Embassy also said that 18 Pakistani nationals were injured in the incident and that the mission was in touch with them.
Officials visit the injured
A day after the incident, top Abu Dhabi health officials — Abdullah Al Hamed, chairman of health regulator, Department of Health (DoH), and Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, DoH undersecretary, visited those who were being treated in hospitals.
Teams from Abu Dhabi Police and Abu Dhabi Civil Defence had cleared the debris and secured the site by Tuesday afternoon. Residents began streaming back to their shops and homes thereafter.
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“The front window of our restaurant was shattered. We’ve come back today to clean up the outlet and repair what we can. We hope to open tomorrow,” a staff member at a nearby eatery told Gulf News. He added that no staff members or customers had sustained injuries. “We all heard loud sounds and saw the fire. The building, with the restaurant, still looks deserted,” he said.