An underground tank explosion at Al Andalus Petrol Station in Doha yesterday caused a cave-in, also damaging two cars. (ABDUL BASIT)
By FAZEENA SALEEM
DOHA: An explosion in the underground tank of a petrol station on C-Ring Road yesterday caused the ground to
cave in leading to panic in the area. No one was injured, the Ministry of Interior said.
Two cars parked at the
Al Andalus Petrol Station were damaged and lay perched on the top of the debris thrown up by the blast. Some residents were seen leaving the area after the explosion at about 12.45pm.
Al Andalus Petrol Station in Muntazah is closed by the Civil Defence “because of the drooping of tanks ground. No injuries were recorded,” said a tweet by the Ministry of Interior at around 3pm yesterday.
“An underground fuel tank was damaged due to the pressure created during maintenance work,” the Ministry said in another Arabic tweet. Police and Civil Defence personnel cordoned off the area. Investigations were conducted for more than three hours after the incident by a safety and security team. People working in nearby shops were evacuated. There was no fire or smoke at the site although the ground had multiple cracks.
About 40 people, mostly Asians, were working at the petrol station and the attached service centre at the time of the incident. Several outlets, including those of popular fast food chains Subway and Baskin Robbins, are located in the premises. “We heard a loud explosion and the ground collapsed. It all happened within a few seconds and we just fled,” said a Bangladeshi worker at the petrol station.
Several residents said they heard a loud bang and felt the ground vibrate, which left them panicked.
“We were on the second floor and felt a sound and shaking and we thought it was an earthquake,” said two employees in an office located less than a kilometre from the petrol station.
A Filipino family said they were so scared that they decided to move for a few days. They were preparing to leave with their belongings in their car when The Peninsula met them in front of their house behind the petrol station.
“We want to move,” said a woman of the family, looking shaken.
Brigadier General Abdullah Al Suwaidi, Director General of General Department of Civil Defence and Brigadier General Hamad Al Dahimi, Director of the Control Room, visited the site.
A similar incident in 2009 due to a gas explosion in diesel tanks of a petrol station in Hilal area injured over 50 people.
Also, a fire broke out in a small cafeteria in a petrol station near the Mall roundabout in January this year, calling for enhanced safety measures at such places.