File photo of the Abu Dhabi skyline, used here for representational purposes only. (FritzDaCat/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)

File photo of the Abu Dhabi skyline, used here for representational purposes only. (FritzDaCat/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Two Indians among three killed in Abu Dhabi fuel tankers explosion in suspected drone attacks

Dubai, January 17, 2022

Three people -- two Indians and a Pakistani -- were killed and six injured in an explosion apparently set off by drones in three petroleum tankers of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) at Musaffah in Abu Dhabi today and the UAE authorities blamed Yemen's Houthi rebels for what it described as terror attacks.

There was also a minor fire in the new construction area of the Abu Dhabi Airport and the authorities have indicated that the explosions and fires at both places could have been caused by drones.

The fire at the airport caused the disruption of a small number of flights, officials said.

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks, media reports said.

Officials confirmed that two Indians and a Pakistani national had died in the tankers fire.

Police said the injuries were "mild to moderate".

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates that make up the UAE federation and is the capital of the country. Musaffah is an industrial district to the southwest of Abu Dhabi.

WAM, the official Emirates News Agency, said Abu Dhabi Police had confirmed that a fire broke out this morning, which led to the explosion of three petroleum tankers in ICAD 3, Mussafah, near the storage tanks of ADNOC.

"A minor fire also broke out in the new construction area of Abu Dhabi International Airport," it said.

"Preliminary investigations suggest that the cause of the fires are small flying objects, possibly belonging to drones, that fell in the two areas. Teams from the competent authorities have been dispatched and the fire is currently being put out," WAM said.

"The competent authorities have launched an extensive investigation into the cause of the fire and the circumstances surrounding it. However, there are no significant damages resulting from the two accidents," the agency added.

The Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi said it was in close touch with the UAE authorities concerned for further details.

"UAE authorities have informed that the explosion at Mussafah, near ADNOC’s storage tanks, has led to 3 casualties, which includes 2 Indian nationals," it said in a post on Twitter.

ADNOC said in a statement that the incident occurred at its Mussafah Fuel Depot, which resulted in the outbreak of a fire.

"Emergency response teams, including civil defence, fire and ambulance responders as well as an ADNOC emergency response team quickly attended the scene, and the fire was brought under control and extinguished.

"ADNOC is deeply saddened to confirm that three colleagues have died. A further six colleagues were injured and received immediate specialist medical care.

"Professional support teams are supporting the families of all those who have been impacted. At this time, the entire ADNOC family extends its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of our colleagues who died this morning.

"We are working closely with the relevant authorities to determine the exact cause and a detailed investigation has commenced," the statement added.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan condemned what he described as the "Houthi militia's targeting of civilian areas and facilities on UAE soil".

"We reiterate that those responsible for this unlawful targeting of our country will be held accountable."

In a statement, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation stated that the UAE reserves the right to respond to these terrorist attacks and criminal escalation, describing them as crimes committed in flagrant violation of international law.

The ministry said that the terrorist militia has carried out a cowardly act to spread terrorism and chaos in the region in order to achieve its illegal aims and objectives. It called on the international community to strongly condemn and denounce these terrorist acts that target civilians and civilian facilities.


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