'Gas explosion' at UAE restaurants causes injuries

'Gas explosion' at UAE restaurants causes injuries
Authorities said a 'gas explosion' caused the injuries in Abu Dhabi.
2 min read
31 August, 2020
The blast happened on the airport road in Abu Dhabi [Getty]
A blast has destroyed two Abu Dhabi restaurants and left many injured on Monday, which UAE authorities say was caused by a "gas explosion".

The explosion took place at a building on the airport road in Abu Dhabi, hours before an Israeli delegation was due to visit the emirate on the first commercial flight from Israel to the UAE.

Abu Dhabi police said a "gas explosion" was the likely cause of the blast, which gutted a KFC and Hardees restaurants on Rashid Bin Saeed Road.

"A report was received in the operation room this morning about an explosion in a restaurant. The rapid intervention teams immediately moved to Al Falah Centre in the Emergency Directorate and Public Safety at Abu Dhabi Police," police said in a statement.

Those affected by the blast suffered light and moderate injuries and are being treated at an Abu Dhabi hospital, authorities added.

Roads in the area have been closed while police investigate the blast.

A video from the scene showed extensive damage to the restaurants and surrounding areas.

A taxi driver who witnessed the blast said he heard a loud explosion that "shook the area".

"I was driving in the area when the incident occurred. I heard a very loud sound. It was so scary," the witness said.

The first commercial flight from Israel to the UAE is expected to land in Abu Dhabi later on Monday, marking a controversial normalisation deal between the two countries.

The flight will include leading US and Israeli dignitaries including US President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The normalisation deal agreed between the UAE and Israel in August has sparked massive anger across the Arab world but is expected to lead to increased trade between the two countries.