NCEMA Chairman visits Iman Al Safaqsii for her heroics in helping the injured. Image Credit: NCEMA

Abu Dhabi: A brave Arab expat who assisted the wounded when a building in Abu Dhabi caught fire has been warmly praised by top UAE officials.

Iman Al Safaqsi was injured when assisting others caught in the fire that broke out in a building in the capital’s Al Khalidiyah area on May 23, and was hospitalised for treatment. The fire erupted after a gas cylinder exploded in a restaurant that was housed in the five-storey building.

Ali Al Neyadi, Chairman of the National Crisis, Emergencies and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), visited her in hospital on Friday.

Praiseworthy courage

The official wished her a speedy recovery and good health, and praised her courage. Al Neyadi also said that such deeds of humanity and bravery are deeply rooted in the UAE community, and are manifested during emergencies and times of hardship.

One death

The gas cylinder explosion and fire resulted in the death of two expats – one Indian national and one Pakistani national – while 120 others sustained injuries. The incident also damaged six buildings and shop facades in the vicinity.

The bodies of the deceased were subsequently repatriated, and health official visited the injured while they were being treated in hospital.

Al Safaqsi’s husband, Sami Al Masoudi, spoke to the Arabic press about his wife’s courage.

“On the fateful day, I was at a meeting at my workplace when my wife called me. She said she had had heard an explosion and found that some people had been injured. She wanted to assist them, so I told her to keep safe. She had then taken water and wet towels to help the injured when a second explosion happened, and she was severely injured,” Al Masoudi said.

“My wife was then rushed to intensive care, and has since been recovering. Thankfully, with the Almighty’s help, she is now out of harm’s way, and in a stable condition. We are thankful for all the treatment and care she has received. The UAE is truly a place that takes care of everyone,” he said.