Dubai: Three men have been accused of causing a gas explosion at a Dubai apartment that resulted in the death of a tenant and horrific burn injuries to an Indian woman.
According to the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours, the 32-year-old Egyptian manager of operations, a Pakistani technician, aged 34, and a 32-year-old Indian technician, who is still at large, were charged with causing wrongful death of a person, a 100 per cent disability to a 37-year-old Indian woman, risking people’s lives and causing damages worth Dh614,000 as a result of the explosion.
The three men were blamed for causing a gas leak in apartment 607 at a residential building in Al Refaa area during a maintenance work that resulted in the blast in September 2019.
According to records, Muhib Shaikh, a 39-year-old real estate agent who had taken apartment number 607 on rent, asked the maintenance company to check the piped gas supply as it had not been working for a couple of days. His wife Kaniz was in the apartment when the two technicians came to fix the issue. “One of them went to the roof of the building, while the second was checking the oven. As he turned on the oven, an explosion occurred,” said the victim on record.
An Indian man living in the same building was in the corridor with his daughter at the time of he explosion. He was struck by the apartment door following the blast and died of severe head injuries, while his daughter survived.
The Pakistani technician who had come to fix the problem with the gas supply was also injured and sustained 15 per cent permanent disability according to records.
Battling for life
Kaniz’s husband, Muhib arrived in his neighbourhood around 8pm when he received the shocking news about his wife battling for her life at Rashid Hospital. “I saw my wife and she was severely injured. I was told that an explosion had occurred in my apartment that caused my wife’s injury and damaged other apartments in the building. I paid nearly Dh100,000 for my wife’s treatment,” Muhib said on record.
Kaniz was admitted to the intensive care unit at Rashid Hospital with 75 per cent burn injuries. She hung between life and death for more than three months with severe infection, including pneumonia. She underwent several surgeries to treat her wounds and was finally discharged from hospital on December 26, 2019.
According to the medical report, Kaniz was disfigured in the face and neck and had lost mobility in the joints of her arms and legs.
According to a report furnished by the Forensic Department of Dubai Police, the explosion was due to a gas leak inside the apartment, that damaged other apartments in the building as well. The elevator in the affected building and an adjacent building were also damaged.
The next hearing is scheduled for April 5.
Victim desperately seeks help
Earlier last year, traumatised husband Muhib told Gulf News that it was bad enough to see his wife suffer so much. Worse, she had not received any compensation so far, he added. Muhib is desperately appealing for help as he claims he can barely afford their living, let alone his wife’s treatment, after his salary was drastically cut.
“My money has run out. I cannot afford medicines. I just pray to the Almighty to protect her while I am away. It is so difficult for me to see her this way and I wish I could get her all the medical help she needs,” said Muhib.
According to medical reports, Kaniz would require a five-year treatment plan costing around Dh300,000.
Muhib said Kaniz needs at least six or seven plastic surgeries and skin transplants to free her of the contractures that are restricting her movement.