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Thursday, March 4, 2021

More details emerge about gas tank that exploded atop restaurant

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Blast

The storage tank above Istanbul Restaurant had been refilled with gas some 30 minutes before yesterday’s explosion, the Turkish ambassador has told Gulf Times.

According to Ahmet Demirok, nobody was inside the Turkish restaurant at the time of the blast, because it did not open until noon.

The restaurant has been in operation for over a decade, and its 1,000-liter gas tank belonged to Qatar fuel company Woqod.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the company’s technical director Hajji al-Rumaihi said gas tanks in Qatar are required to undergo annual inspections, and that this particular tank passed quality checks last month. He also said that that a gas detector had previously been affixed atop of the restaurant for added safety.

It is unclear who filled up the tank before it exploded around 10am yesterday, but on Woqod’s website, the company advertises that “LPG is directly delivered by staff.”

A committee comprised of officials from the Ministry of Interior, Lekhwiya and Woqod has been formed to investigate what happened. In addition to conducting the technical probe, the committee will also assess the losses caused by the blast.

Victims

More details are also emerging about those who were injured and killed in yesterday’s accident.

A total of 46 people were harmed by the blast, which covered a 50m radius. Eleven of those have died, including five Indians, four Nepalis and two Filipinos.

According to the Peninsula, seven of those killed were working at Tasty restaurant, which neighbored Istanbul and served Filipino food. Two customers were also killed.

In the hospital, one person remains in critical condition, while 34 others are stable. A woman and her daughter are among those being treated for injuries.

According to Hamad Medical Corp., the injured hail from India (12), Nepal (9), Pakistan (5), the Philippines (2), Egypt (2), Sri Lanka (1), Bangladesh (1), Yemen (1), Tunisia (1) and Qatar (1).

Funeral information about the deceased is still pending.

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