Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai
Two survivors of the deadly Mankhool gas pipe blast - that took place on September 28 - are recovering in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Rashid Hospital.
An Indian woman, KS (name withheld on request), aged 35, with 75 per cent burns and a Pakistani national, Islam Khan, with 50 per cent burns, were admitted at Rashid Hospital.
KS's husband SM, a 37-year-old Indian national, said they got married three years back and have lost everything in the blast. "I don't know what will happen to us. The blast has devastated me. Thankfully, my wife is alive, but now I have to think about her recovery. She has suffered severe burns on her face and would need a reconstructive surgery," SM told Khaleej Times.
The Consulate-General of Pakistan in Dubai, confirmed to Khaleej Times that Khan had suffered 50 per cent burns. Unfortunately, no family member has come forward to be by his side. An official with the consulate said: "He is currently on ventilator and unconscious. Officials from the consulate have been regularly visiting him at Rashid Hospital. We are ready to help him in every way as we feel that he does not have any family members here. We are waiting for him to regain consciousness so that we can speak to him about what went wrong and provide him with the necessary help."
The explosion took place in the sixth floor of an apartment in Al Ghurair Building in Mankhool while Khan, a mechanic, was trying to repair a gas leak. The blast claimed the life of a 47-year-old Indian man, living in the apartment next door.
His body was repatriated to India on October 3. The Consulate-General of India in Dubai confirmed his mortal remains were flown to Lucknow by an Air India Express flight.
SM has been a resident of the UAE for seven years. Originally from Mumbai, the couple moved into the apartment complex two years back. Recalling the blast, SM said: "I was at work when the explosion took place. Every morning, I get ready for work early and make breakfast. That morning, there was no gas supply.
"There was no leak when I left the apartment as my wife said she would call a technician to repair the issue with the gas pipe," he said.
When he returned from work that evening, he noticed roadblocks prevented him from entering the building. "It didn't strike me even once that something was wrong with her. Only when I got to the building I realised the blast had taken place in my apartment. I wasn't allowed to go up to my apartment," he said.
After frantically searching for his wife, a resident asked him to go to Rashid Hospital as she had already been moved there.
KS is still in the intensive care and has not been able to breathe independently. While 75 per cent of her body is covered in first-degree burns, there are 35 per cent second-degree burns.
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