Residents evacuated after gas explosion in Saadiyat apartment
ABU DHABI // Several homes were evacuated after a gas explosion in a Saadiyat Beach Residences apartment on Tuesday night.
No injuries were reported and it is not known if anyone was inside the fourth floor apartment in Building 1 at the time of the explosion.
Police, fire and emergency teams arrived at the scene shortly after 9pm.
One resident, who lives on the fifth floor, said he returned home to find a large group of neighbours standing outside the complex.
“I live on the fifth floor of the building and the explosion took place on the fourth floor, I was told,” he said.
“Even though there was an explosion there wasn’t any fire at the time so I went inside, grabbed my two cats and left.
“It was evident to me the extent of the damage caused from the lower floor because there was a lot of debris on my floor too.”
Other residents reported feeling the building shake when the explosion occurred.
“I felt the walls shake and while going down the stairs there was a lot of pulverised powder, it seems, from the debris or walls,” said S K, 53.
“I’m anxiously waiting to return to my flat if it’s safe, but I saw the management arranging accommodation for those on the extensively damaged 4th floor.”
The Tourism Development and Investment Company, which manages the buildings, issued a statement after the explosion.
“The Tourism Development and Investment Company has been made aware of the unfortunate incident that occurred earlier this evening at the Saadiyat Beach Residences,” it said.
“The relevant authorities are at the scene and an investigation is ongoing to understand what has exactly happened.
“TDIC representatives are on the ground to ensure the safety and security of the residents.
“The Community Centre has been opened to receive residents from Building 1 who have been impacted by the current situation while alternative accommodation is being arranged for them for tonight.
“The safety of our residents and their families is our top priority and we are working towards making sure everyone goes back to their home.
“We will provide updated information on the situation as soon as it is made available.”
Residents in nearby buildings were also asked to leave their homes, returning several hours later.
Rana Ahmed, 22, was visiting friends at the time of the blast.
“It was a little terrifying,” Ms Ahmed said. “I’m glad that there seemed to be no injuries, as far as I know.
“I’m here for my friends if they need a place to stay but I think management will provide them with places to sleep if their apartment is deemed not safe.”
Updated: March 24, 2015 04:00 AM