x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

One dead after gas-filled balloon explodes in Sharjah

The balloon was to be launched as part of this year's National Day celebrations.

SHARJAH // One man died and two others are in critical condition after a cluster balloon they were filling with gas exploded.

The incident happened in a villa in the Marijah neighbourhood on Tuesday. Police are investigating what type of gas was being used.

A Bangladeshi man, 26, suffered almost 98 per cent burns and was taken to Al Qassimi Hospital but died shortly after arriving.

An Egyptian, 25, and an Indian, whose age was not disclosed, were admitted to the intensive-care unit at Kuwait Hospital.

"The police operations room was notified at 5.45pm there had been an explosion in the Marijah area," said a police spokesman.

"A team of officers, rescuers and CID moved to the scene and found the explosion had shattered the windows of several villas and cars parked nearby."

The Emirati owner of the villa told police the cluster balloon was bought at Sharjah market.

He said he instructed the three to fill the balloons with helium, which is inert, but was unsure what was in the gas cylinders they used.

The balloon was to be launched as part of this year's National Day celebrations.

"Balloons should be bought from specialised companies and filled by certified and licensed technicians," said a police spokesman.

ykakande@thenational.ae