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54 fuel blast victims being treated

RIYADH: Of the 133 injured in Thursday’s gas tanker explosion only 54 remain in hospital, Deputy Riyadh Gov. Prince Muhammad bin Saad said yesterday after inspecting the accident spot and visiting the injured.
“Among these injured, 20 are Saudis and the rest are expats,” he told a press conference. He identified the 22 dead as eight Saudis and eight expatriates. Six could not be identified. The bodies will be buried after the completion of investigation.
“We have completed search for victims in the debris of Zahid Tractor building, which was completely destroyed as a result of the blast,” the deputy governor said. Two committees have been set up, one to probe the accident, while the other to estimate the losses.
Market analysts estimated the damage at over SR 300 million.
Eleven schools were slightly damaged. “We have repaired the damage and the schools were working normally today,” said Sultan Al-Hamd, head of safety and security committee at the Education Department.
The National Gas & Industrialization Company said the accident would not affect gas supplies in the city. It said tanker No. 845, involved in the accident, was going from Qatif gas station to Riyadh via Al-Kharj.
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Prince Muhammad disclosed plans to set up gas pipeline system for Riyadh. He commended the efforts made by the various government departments including civil defense, police, health, the National Guard and the electricity company in dealing with the situation.
Market analysts say that seven insurance companies would cover the accident that damaged 170 cars, 60 trucks, 200 houses and 500 shops. According to the law, the insurance company will pay a maximum of SR 10 million.
Saud Al-Hilal, director of Riyadh police blamed the accident on high speed. “There was a problem with the tanker’s brakes and the vehicle overturned when the driver tried to turn it,” he told reporters.

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