Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 November 2019

Family say maid killed in Ajman gas explosion was ‘a pillar in our household’

The death of Romana, 38, the mother of a 15-year-old son, was a shock for the family, who had treated her as one of their own for 16 years.

AJMAN // An Emirati family have spoken of their sorrow after one of their Ethiopian housemaids was killed on Wednesday when a gas cylinder exploded at their home.

The death of Romana, 38, the mother of a 15-year-old son, was a shock for the family, who had treated her as one of their own for 16 years.

“She used to always to say: ‘I have lived in the house and I will die here’,” said a tearful Nada Ali Al Kaabi, the 32-year-old daughter of the homeowners. “She was a pillar in our household. She was with me while delivering my baby.”

Tragedy struck at dawn in the kitchen outside the villa.

“We thought a car exploded at the garage or something heavy had fallen. We ran outside after hearing the other maid screaming,” said Ms Al Kaabi, of the 28-year-old maid, also from Ethiopia, who is in a critical condition after losing her legs and sustaining burns to 90 per cent of her body.

“She is in the intensive care unit between life and death and needs seven operations.”

Romana and another Ethiopian maid, 36, were sleeping in their bedroom when the kitchen wall that separates the two rooms fell on top of them.

The 28-year-old and another maid were in the kitchen at the time. “We did not see smoke and fire; we just saw blood. Romana and the other maid stayed under rubble until the civil defence crew reached them and pull out their bodies,” said Ms Al Kaabi.

“Emergency staff tried to rescue Romana but she died on the spot.” The other maid [that the wall fell on] has a broken pelvis and is still at the hospital. The Indonesian maid, who was in the kitchen, has sustained minor burns in her hands and legs.

“An expert said that the cylinder was good but that the pipe led the gas to leak.”

The Emirati family have been visiting the injured maids at Sheikh Khalifa Hospital.

Rashid Muglad, director general of Ajman Civil Defence, urged householders to conduct periodic maintenance on gas cylinders and stoves.

“Gas cylinders should be kept in a ventilated area and away from sunlight and flammable materials. Kitchen windows must remain closed to avoid gas leakages.”

roueiti@thenational.ae

Updated: April 20, 2017 04:00 AM

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