12 dead in gas blast in Qatari capital Doha
Qatar's capital of Doha, killing 12

by ABDULLAH REBHY., Associated Press - 27 February 2014 09:02-05:00

DOHA, Qatar - An apparent gas explosion Thursday at a restaurant near a filling station in the Qatari capital killed 12 people and wounded several more, emergency services officials in the energy-rich Gulf nation said.


Initial indications suggested a burst natural gas tank atop a Turkish restaurant was to blame for the blast, which happened shortly after 10 a.m. near the popular Landmark Mall shopping center in the capital, Doha.


The force of the explosion caused the partial collapse of the Istanbul Restaurant and sent shrapnel flying as far as 50 meters  away, authorities said. Officials are treating the explosion as an accident, though it is unclear what ignited the tank.


The 12 people reported killed were all Asian or Arab, said Maj. Gen. Saad al-Khulaifi, who heads the country's police force. He did not give further details on their identities or nationalities.


He said 31 others were wounded, some seriously. He vowed authorities would conduct a full and transparent investigation. (Associated Press)