Riyadh Blast Estimated To Cost Over $80m

Atleast 22 people were killed and over 130 were injured in a gas tanker explosion in Riyadh on Thursday.



Smoke rises after the explosion which severely damaged an industrial building. (Reuters)

The total property loss caused by a gas tanker explosion in Riyadh that killed 22 people and injured 133, is estimated to exceed SAR300 million ($80 million), excluding insurance claims for those killed and injured, reported Arab News.

The Civil Defense unit in Riyadh region has formed a committee to assess the damages, and Civil Defense spokesman Captain Mohammed Al-Hubail urged all those affected by the incident to approach the committee and register their complaints.

The explosion in Eastern Riyadh was caused after a fuel truck crashed into a concrete flyover, triggering a huge explosion which destroyed a nearby industrial building.

The building, which housed operations of Zahid Tractor – a distributor of heavy machinery – was several stories high and was almost entirely destroyed while several adjacent buildings were damaged and nearby vehicles, including a minibus on the flyover, were set on fire, according to witnesses.

In a statement, the Ministry of Transport announced that it will not repair the bridge, but will remove it. Transport minister Dr. Jubarah bin Eid Al-Suraysiri said that rehabilitating the facility was “out of question,” reported the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The ministry has constructed temporary exits and is planning to restructure the entire site, he said.

Meanwhile, Saud bin Abdulaziz, chief of the Riyadh Police, said that the truck, which was moving at a high speed, went out of control due to a brake failure and despite the driver’s attempts to control it, the truck turned upside down, causing the accident, reported SPA.