Gas cylinder explosions, loss of life, and serious damage to homes and property are dangerous and tragic incidents in Maldives. Many such incidents have occurred at construction sites and various workplaces and many foreign workers have lost their lives.
In such a tragic incident, two foreign workers working on the construction of the airport in Makunudhoo were killed in a gas cylinder explosion. A 3rd person has survived.
The incident occurred at the site area where the equipment needed for the dredging work of the airport and the equipment needed for the sewerage work of the village are located.
The gas cylinder exploded within an hour of being offloaded onto the island of Makunudhoo.
A man who happened to be at the harbor area when the gas cylinder was offloaded spoke to The Press on the condition of anonymity and told The Press that the gas cylinder was unloaded in front of him.
He said that a rope and two rectangular boards were also unloaded there. While trying to unload the gas cylinder, the foreign workers turned it to the ground and then dropped it on the ground.
Two men got out of the dinghy and took the cylinder to a certain point. One of them got into the dinghy and left, the witness said. He said he saw two men carrying the cylinder to the fish market grounds with a man from the site.
He explained that it took about an hour between unloading the gas cylinder and hearing the loud noise which sounded like a huge explosion and heard people say that smoke was rising from the work site. The witness said that the first words he could utter were about the gas cylinder.
It is unclear what happened next after the gas cylinder was unloaded in Makunudhoo, but Makunodhoo councilor Adam Sharif said three Indians were active near the gas cylinder.
Some residents said Makunudhoo shook while others said it was a loud explosion.
Makondu Council President Auzam Adam told The Press that the incident occurred while lifting gas cylinders. Gas cutting is prohibited in the area, he said.
The blast shook the whole of Makunudhoo and Auzam said it was the strongest blast ever heard in Makunudhoo.
The explosion was so loud and powerful that many in the village described it as a bomb blast. Israeli attacks on Palestinians have increased, and some in the village believed the sound was the sound of such a bomb. A resident said he heard objects falling on some roofs and that it was an Israeli bomb attack.
People in the cafe rushed to the scene and there was a body near the STO warehouse near the cafe, Sharif said. The bodies of the two deceased were scattered in different areas, witnesses said, adding that the head, back, arms, legs, and chest bones were missing and the intestines were protruding.
Photos show the two men injured beyond recognition. Their heads and separate organs were not visible. Parts of their bodies have been scattered far away.
Council member Adam Sharif said a police forensic team is investigating the incident. CCTV footage of the oil shop near the area is being taken and CCTV footage of the STO shop has also been requested.