MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday confirmed that two Filipinos were killed in an explosion at a restaurant in Sheikh Rashid Bin Seed Road, (also known as Airport Road) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
In a statement, the DFA said Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana has reached out to the families of the deceased to express condolences, as well as to assure them that they will be provided with all the necessary assistance.
"It is with deep sadness that the Embassy shares the latest information that two Filipinos died from the unfortunate accident yesterday caused by a gas explosion at a restaurant at Sheikh Rashid Bin Seed Road,” the statement said.
The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi is also coordinating with local officials to obtain information on other Filipinos who were also injured in the incident.
Relatives and friends of the victims took to social media to express their condolences.
Harriette Abuyabor Bartoces, the aunt of one of the victims, Meeriner Bartoces, thanked everyone who helped their family locate her niece.
“It’s painful but we have to accept it. We are sincerely grateful to all who helped. To my friends, to those people who we do not even know who helped us by sharing, finding info from the hospital, at the police and embassy and to all who shouted, thank you very much. May her soul, rest in eternal peace," she said on Facebook.
Meeriner worked at a cashier at the restaurant where the explosion occurred.
Elmer Paglinawan, an OFW from Abu Dhabi, also expressed his condolences to the family of the other victim, Clark Gasis.
“Kasama pala ang isa kong naging kakampi sa basketball na si Clark Gasis sa isang pagsabog ng gas explosion kahapon sa KFC and Hardees restaurant. Paalam bro and condolence sa pamilya. Mabait na ama at mabait na kaibigan at tahimik na tao," he wrote.
Local authorities earlier said two people died in the explosion which happened Monday morning.
- with a report from Rachel Salinel, ABS-CBN News