x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Worker injured in Dubai gas explosion dies

Chances of survival for two other men are 'almost zero'.

DUBAI // One of the workers seriously injured in a gas explosion at a labour camp has died.

Alam Mustafa, 49, from Bangladesh, was admitted to Rashid Hospital on Sunday night with 10 other men after gas cylinders stored in Al Shafar National Contracting’s labour accommodation in Al Quoz exploded.

Mr Mustafa, who worked as a helper at a confectionery store and was employed by Notions Group, died on Tuesday.

About 15 men were preparing dinner in the communal first-floor kitchen of the three-storey building when the blast happened.

“He was among three of them who had almost 100 per cent burns,” said a hospital spokesman. “In such cases, the chances [of survival] are almost zero.”

Two men still remain critical, and their condition was described as “fragile”.

“There is always a chance. We are providing the best services,” said the spokesman. The remaining eight men, who sustained between 30 to 50 per cent burns, are recovering and could be discharged in a few weeks.

A spokesman for Notions Group said Mr Mustafa was burnt when he returned to his room to gather his belongings.

“He left the room when the fire started but he went back to get his wallet and mobile. It was when he was leaving a second time that a gas cylinder exploded.”

The spokesman said Mr Mustafa, who had worked for the company for 13 years, had privately rented out a room. No other employees of Notions Group were living at Al Shafar camp.

His son, who works for the same company, will travel with the body to Bangladesh.

Abu Zafar, the Bangladesh consul general, said: “We are in touch with the company on how to repatriate the body.”

Some of the workers at Al Shafar said they had been shifted from the camp after the accident.

“I moved to another room in Al Quoz,” said Vinod, a designer at an advertising firm, who did not want to give his second name.

“Here there are no cylinders. Instead, there is piped gas, which makes it safer. If there had been pipes [at Al Shafar] this would not have happened.”

Each room at the Al Shafar camp sleeps six people with a common kitchen on each floor. Workers said as many as 30 cylinders could have been stored in each kitchen.

New rules require camps less than three years old have centralised gas pipes, but Al Shafar said its Al Quoz camp was more than six years old.

“When our camp was built, there were no such regulations,” said a spokesman. “It depends on the building structure, and it cannot be modified.”