Residents deal with aftermath of Saadiyat gas explosion
ABU DHABI // Two days after a gas explosion at a Saadiyat Island apartment block, residents from the building’s most extensively damaged floor are still waiting to go back to their homes.
They are currently staying at the Anantara Eastern Mangroves at the expense of the Tourism Development and Investment Company, which manages the building, and many have reservations about returning until they can be assured their homes are safe.
On Tuesday evening, resident Barry Johnson, a manager at Etihad Airways, sustained burns when a gas explosion tore through his fourth-floor apartment. He remains in a stable condition at Mafraq Hospital.
Some residents were given the all-clear to return on Wednesday evening. However those on the fourth floor will have to wait.
“We’re not moving back until we have a letter from the municipality or the relevant authority saying that its safe to return,” said Ioannis Xenakis, who lives on the fourth floor. “I’m from Greece and we suffered similar issues after the earthquake and such measures were needed.
“We also need to know if the central gas is functioning properly. Obviously, we’ll have to cook. We don’t know what went wrong but all safety measures will have to be taken.”
Mr Xenakis, who is also an Etihad pilot, said that his company was supportive of the situation. He said he received an email from human resources offering assistance.
He added that other residents share his sentiments and are also apprehensive about their safety.
LR, a fourth-floor neighbour, said: “I saw some residents leave and check out of the hotel. I’m guessing they were from the other floors of the building that didn’t sustain as much damage like ours had. I was able to go to work today. My life is slowly getting back to normal but I need to get back to my home.
“I honestly don’t know how much repair is required but I really hope that it won’t be long. Some normality in our daily routine would be great.”
Updated: March 26, 2015 04:00 AM