Gas cylinder blast causes old building to collapse in Manama; 4 dead

Manama: At least four people have reportedly died and more than 30 injured after a building collapsed in a gas cylinder blast in the Bahraini capital on Tuesday evening.

One body was recovered thanks to a drone used by the Civil Defence teams after the collapse that was caused by a gas cylinder blast in a kitchen on the second floor of the old two-storey building in Salmaniya.

Two other bodies were discovered early on Wednesday, Al Ayam reported on its website.

A fourth man died at the Salmaniya Medical Complex, the country’s largest hospital, where he was transported with other casualties.

The Civil Defence teams will continue their search and rescue operations for other people who might be still trapped in the heap of rubble.

Witnesses reported they heard a loud explosion shortly after 7pm followed by the collapse of the building in the mainly residential and small shops area.

“The Operation Room received a report about the case at around 7:20pm and the Civil Defence and ambulance teams reached within minutes and started the rescue operations,” the Director-General of Civil Defence said.

“Twenty injured who sustained medium to serious injuries were referred to hospitals. The teams continue with the search and rescue operations, while the nearby buildings were secured and the sheltering plan was activated, in which some were referred to the Dar Al Karama shelters.”

The Civil Defence said that 11 vehicles, 15 police patrols, 60 personnel and 19 ambulances had been dispatched to the scene of the collapse to assist with the rescue operations.

Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa ordered an investigation into the collapse of the building and directed the ministries of interior, labour and social development, health, works, municipality affairs and urban planning to submit immediate reports.

The premier told the health ministry to set up a medical team involving different public hospitals to provide the required treatment for the injured.

Expressing regret about the painful incident, he said the wounded and their families should be helped to overcome the tragedy.

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