Fire and explosion hit Abu Dhabi in gas cylinder explosion


A fire hits downtown Abu Dhabi, with authorities initially blaming a gas canister for an explosion filmed on social media

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A fire swept through downtown Abu Dhabi early on Wednesday, with authorities initially blaming a gas cylinder for causing an explosion caught on social media.

The blast hit Hamdan Street in the capital of the United Arab Emirates as it hosts the FIFA Club World Cup. Brazilian journalists covering Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras’ victory against Egypt’s Al Ahly first reported on the explosion.

The official WAM news agency described the fire just after midnight as coming from “a gas cylinder explosion”. Some footage showed what appeared to be a ball of fire on the roof of a building as emergency service vehicles could be seen on the street.

The fireball quickly dissipated in the footage and did not appear to cause any structural damage to the building.

The images seen in the videos matched known features in Abu Dhabi. WAM’s report indicates that there were no injuries.

“The process of cooling down and limiting the fire damage is ongoing,” WAM said.

The incident comes after Houthi rebels in Yemen launched several attacks targeting Abu Dhabi, including an attack on January 17 that killed three people and injured six.

The US Embassy in Abu Dhabi later warned Americans of “reports of a possible missile or drone strike over Abu Dhabi”, without giving further details. However, the Houthis and their associated media did not immediately claim any attack.


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