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Filipinos hurt in Saudi blast stable, casualty identified

Publication Date : 02-11-2012


Filipinos who were injured when a fuel truck exploded after hitting portions of a bridge Thursday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia are in good, stable condition, the Philippine envoy to Saudi Arabia said Friday.

In a radio interview, Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ezzedin Tago said that based on reports they received from the hospitals where the Filipinos were taken, no one was reported to be in critical condition.

“So far, no one is in critical condition, most are in stable condition. The hospital reported that they are in stable or good condition,” Tago said.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez, meanwhile, in a separate text message, noted that the Filipino truck driver Florentino Santiago, who was killed in the incident, was positively identified by his brother-in-law, who was also his co-worker in a tractor company.

“His remains are now in Riyadh Central Mortuary at Shumaisi Hospital,” Hernandez said in the text message. Hernandez added that 10 other Filipinos were now confined in four hospitals in Riyadh for various injuries.

He said that so far five Filipinos were confined in Al Habib hospital, two were confined at the Al Jazeera hospital, two at the National Guard hospital, and one at the Shumaisi hospital. He said injuries that were sustained varied from arm fracture, facial wound, ear bleeding, eye wound to head trauma.

He added that the Philippine embassy in Saudi Arabia continued to monitor their condition and was in touch with their employers to make sure that all necessary assistance were given to them.

Hernandez added that the embassy also remained in contact with Santiago’s employer and his family for the repatriation of the remains back to the Philippines.

Tago, in the interview, added that the employers of the Filipinos assured that they would help the victims.

“There shouldn't be a problem with their salary since it was not their fault. If they will have a problem in the future, they can come to us,” Tago said.

Reports said the incident claimed 22 lives and injured more than 100 people.

Reports said the 7am explosion occurred near the Saudi National Guard building in an industrial area in the city’s eastern district.

Officials quoted by the news-wire Agence France Press, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media, said that the truck veered into a bridge pylon at a junction on Khurays Road in Riyadh at about 7:30am, causing a gas leak that spread out and then burst into flames, destroying nearby cars and business establishments.

Officials added that rescue crew had not finished the search and the death toll was still not final.   With AFP and Associated Press


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