Eleven killed in Qatar restaurant explosion
28 February 2014
According to the Peninsula news website, 11 people were killed and 35 injured in a huge gas tank explosion in a Turkish restaurant next to a petrol station complex behind the Landmark Mall in Doha on February 27. The dead were five Indians, four Nepalese and two Filipinos.
The Istanbul restaurant building collapsed under the impact of the explosion, which led to the high casualties, the Ministry of Interior said. The cause of the blast was not immediately known. The tank belonged to Woqod.
Public Security Director General Staff Major General Saad bin Jassim Al Khulaifi told a press conference in the afternoon that the victims were restaurant staff and customers as well as passers-by. Shrapnel from the explosion scattered 50 meters away. The blast led to a small fire, which was contained swiftly, he said, adding that the deaths occurred due to the explosion rather than the resulting “limited” fire.
In a statement, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) said 11 people were killed and 35 injured. The toll was confirmed by the ministry.
HMC said those remaining in the hospital include one Qatari, 12 Indians, nine Nepalese, five Pakistanis, two from the Philippines, two from Egypt and one each from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Yemen and Tunisia.
Preliminary investigations suggested a gas tank on the roof of a Turkish food restaurant and gas cylinders on neighbouring roofs had exploded, the Qatar News Agency reported.
A Woqod official claimed that there was no safety lapse on the part of the company and the tank involved had been properly inspected.
“The Woqod conducts periodical inspection of all gas tanks in all restaurants and expert engineers ensure inspection procedures have been carried out by approved companies. We never allow anybody to fix any product that is not approved by Woqod. All equipment of this restaurant and the tank were inspected on January 15. For additional safety, Woqod had fixed a gas detector on the top of the restaurant, beside the tank,” a company spokesman said.
The Interior ministry has asked the Woqod to carry out a technical probe into the blast. He said the committee formed to investigate the explosion will also assess the losses caused by the blast.
A fire at Villaggio Mall in Doha killed 19 people in 2012.