22 killed in gas tanker accident in Riyadh

November 2, 2012

A gas tanker explosion caused by a traffic accident at the intersection of Khurais Road and Sheikh Jaber Street in Riyadh yesterday morning has resulted in the deaths of 22 people and the injury of 131 more. According to police reports, the tanker truck was speeding and, while attempting to avoid a road accident, hit a bridge and flipped over. Subsequently, a gas leak occurred, followed by an explosion and a fire.

The official spokesman of the Civil Defense in Riyadh, Capt. Mohamed Al-Hammadi, said in a statement that the accident led to “significant damages as a result of the fire and explosion, which occurred in the incident due to the spread of gas at the site, resulting in a number of traffic accidents and leading to a number of victims.” Al-Hammadi noted that Civil Defense rescue teams, traffic police, security patrols, Red Crescent officials and other support services arrived at the scene immediately.

In remarks broadcast on Al-Ekhbariyah Channel yesterday, Director General of Civil Defense Lt. Gen. Saad Al-Tuwaijri said that the fire extended 300 meters from the site of the collision. He blamed the accident on the tanker truck driver, who was only identified as a national of an Asian country.

Meanwhile, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has ordered the medical treatment of all those injured in the incident at the expense of the state. The victims, including 26 Saudis, 67 non-Saudis and 40 unidentified, were transported to hospitals across Riyadh. So far, 79 people have been released, while 54 remain in the hospital, including 12 in intensive care.

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