Doha: At least 12 people were killed in an apparent gas cylinder explosion at a Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital of Doha.
Qatari state television aired footage of serious damage after Thursday’s reported gas explosion, which tore through the restaurant near a popular shopping centre.
“The explosion happened today at Istanbul restaurant next to a petrol station,” the Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.
According to the local news website Doha News, four of the victims were killed at the site of the explosion, while eight others died on their way to the hospital.
Another 32 were injured, three of them critically, QNA reported. At least three of those reported injured are from the Philippines, and two of them are in the intensive care unit of Hamad Hospital, a representative of the Philippine Embassy in Doha told Al Jazeera.
The same source also told Al Jazeera that two migrant workers from the Philippines are confirmed dead. The two fatalities reportedly worked as staff of a store next to the restaurant, where the explosion happened.
“It was a huge explosion,” the public security chief, Major General Saad bin Jassim al-Khleifi, told a news conference, adding that the gas tank had caught on fire before it exploded.
Footage showed paramedics carrying a covered body past rubble strewn some 50m from the building, whose roof had caved in.
Pictures posted on Twitter showed several damaged cars. A witness said police had closed off the area.
In another incident on Thursday, the Reuters news agency reported that dozens of people had been injured in a leak at a chemical facility in an industrial area just outside Doha.
Nineteen people were killed in a May 2012 blaze at a major Doha mall, including 13 children and four supervisors at a nursery located within the shopping centre.