Twelve people including two from the Philippines were killed Thursday in an explosion of a gas tank at a Qatar Turkish restaurant in the country’s capital of Doha. Authorities said the blast also killed two children.
More than two and a half dozen others were injured in the gas explosion at Istanbul Restaurant that one person involved with the investigation said was accidental.
Officials in Qatar said they ruled out that the blast was terrorism, said a local radio reported on Friday. The report indicated that one fatality involved a grocery worker.
The head of security for Qatar said the one Qatari, Non-Qatari Arabs and Asians were amongst the dead and injured.
After a preliminary investigation authorities said a gas cylinder had exploded igniting a fire and collapsing part of the building. However, investigators would like to determine the reason the cylinder exploded.
The blast was so big it blew shrapnel as far as 100 meters and wrecked cars that were parked in the area. Metal debris, pieces of masonry and shattered window glass could be seen near the restaurant at the edge of the street. Some cars were crumpled up by the force of the explosion.
The explosion was the deadliest incident to take place in Qatar since May of 2012, when 13 children and 19 people in all, were killed in a fire at a high-end shopping mall.
In another incident Thursday, security and medics at the medical city of Hamad in Doha, said dozens were hurt from a gas leak in a chemical plant.
No figures were released or details given to the condition of those hurt, but helicopters had to be dispatched to fly the victims to the medical center since ambulances were caught up in traffic due to the incident at the restaurant.
The oil and gas rich state in the Arab Gulf has one of the highest living standards in the world. The bulk of the population of 2 million in Qatar is foreigners.
The restaurant on the outside perimeter of the capital city is near a well-known shopping center.