An explosion ripped through an underground reservoir of the Al Andalaus Petrol station, Muntaza, yesterday, damaging two cars and creating panic in the nearby areas.
According to unconfirmed sources, the low-intensity blast, that caused part of the ground to cave in, occurred at an underground diesel storage tank.
The Ministry of Interior said on its Twitter account that the Civil Defence Department has closed down the station after the incident, which it described as “the drooping of tanks ground”. It said “no injuries were reported”.
However, the tweet added two cars that were parked at the station were damaged. The Ministry said “damages to the ground tank (occurred) because of gas saturation during maintenance”.
Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud sound just before 1pm and police and Civil Defence personnel soon arrived at the scene.
Even though some 40 people were at work at the station, which consisted of a car wash centre among other facilities, only one person sustained minor injuries, an eyewitness told this newspaper. The petrol station’s operators and Civil Defence authorities declined to comment.
In the impact of the blast, window panes of some of the buildings in the vicinity of the petrol station were shattered. The incident that sent panic among the residents took place between 12.45 and 1 pm, said one of the neighbours who, like many others, gathered near the site after hearing “a deafening sound”. Parts of the roof over the petrol station were blown off.
One of the damaged cars was turned upside down in the impact.
The falling debris from a building shattered the windshields of at least two vehicles parked in the neighbourhood. Damage was also reported to some of the stores at a neighbouring shopping complex.
Soon after the incident, the police cordoned off the stretch between Mumtaza and Radission Blu signals and vehicle traffic through the area was diverted.
While the police asked occupants of some of the neighbouring buildings to vacate, even others residing in houses along the road behind the petrol station were seen leaving, apparently out of panic after the blast.
This is the second blast at a petrol station in Doha in the last four years.
On October 15, 2009, there was a similar blast at a petrol station close to the Kahramaa roundabout in Hilal, injuring more than 50 workers of a contracting company whose bus was waiting at the station for filling diesel. A number of stores at a shopping centre located at the petrol station were damaged in its impact.
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