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Abu Dhabi Drone Blast: India in Touch With UAE Authorities to Identify 2 Deceased Nationals

Along with the two Indians, a Pakistani national was also killed in the Abu Dhabi fire incident today. (Image: AFP)

Along with the two Indians, a Pakistani national was also killed in the Abu Dhabi fire incident today. (Image: AFP)

The envoy said that the UAE officials have yet not revealed whether those injured in the Houthi drone attack include Indians or not.

Indian Ambassador to UAE, Sanjay Sudhir, on Monday said the embassy is in touch with the UAE authorities to ascertain the details of two Indian nationals who were killed after a fire caused by drones triggered an explosion that hit three petroleum tankers in Abu Dhabi. The envoy further said that the local officials have not revealed yet whether those injured include Indians or not.

Speaking to CNN-News18 over the phone, Sudhir said, “We only have confirmation so far that two out of the three are Indian nationals. We are in close contact to get more details of their identity. This was not at the airport. This was a facility very close to where ADNOC oil tanks are, a place called Mussafah, where Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has its oil tanks. So, I believe the explosions took place by the UAE government.”

“The UAE authorities have not said anything yet on whether the injured include Indians. There will be no delay in informing the families. We stand with them in this time of anguish and understand they need to be assisted and helped,” he added.

Along with the two Indians, a Pakistani national was also killed in the Abu Dhabi fire incident today. At least six persons were injured, Abu Dhabi police said, without disclosing their identity. Authorities have launched an extensive investigation into the cause of the fire and the circumstances surrounding it, police said.

“However, there are no significant damages resulting from the two accidents,” Wam reported. Meanwhile, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed that they have targeted the United Arab Emirates, without giving details. Yemen’s Houthi group has taken responsibility for several attacks on Saudi oil facilities in the past.

Reacting to the incident, the Indian embassy in UAE tweeted, “UAE authorities have informed that the explosion at Mussafah, near ADNOC’s storage tanks, has led to 3 casualties, which includes 2 Indian nationals. The Mission @IndembAbuDhabi is in close touch with concerned UAE authorities for further details.”

Meanwhile, CNN-News18 also asked the Indian envoy about the UAE-flagged ship seized by Houthis which has seven Indian nationals on board and he said, “We are in touch with the shipping line. Seven Indian sailors have been able to communicate with their families in India.”

The UN Security Council on Friday condemned the seizure of a United Arab Emirates ship and demanded that Yemens Houthi rebels immediately release the vessel and its crew. A press statement from the UN’s most powerful body called on all sides to resolve the issue quickly and underlined the importance of freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, in accordance with international law.

The seizure of the UAE-flagged Rwabee ship on January 3 by the Iranian-backed Houthis coincided with a massive memorial in Tehran on the second anniversary of the US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad. The Houthis said they seized the ship off the coast of Hodeida, Yemen’s main port, because it was carrying military equipment.

The Security Council underscored the necessity of ensuring the crew’s safety and well-being until their release.

ADNOC issues statement

Meanwhile, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil company, released a statement giving details of the incident. It said that it took no time to press into service emergency response teams and that the fire was brought under control soon. “At approximately 10:00 AM this morning, an incident occurred at our Mussafah Fuel Depot in Abu Dhabi 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,” it said.

The company said it is “deeply saddened to confirm that three colleagues have died”. “We are working closely with the relevant authorities to determine the exact cause and a detailed investigation has commenced,” the company added.

(with inputs from wires)

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first published:January 17, 2022, 19:26 IST