Riyadh truck explosion leaves many dead

At least 23 people were killed and many more injured when a truck carrying flammable liquids crashed in Riyadh causing a large explosion, Saudi television said. 

The civil defence department said a gas tanker had hit a flyover in eastern Riyadh on Thursday, causing a gas leak and
an explosion.

"The truck driver was surprised by a road accident on its route, causing it to crash into one of the pillars of the bridge," spokesman Captain Mohamed Hubail Hammadi said.

An industrial building, several storeys high, was almost entirely destroyed by the blast while several nearby buildings were damaged, witness said.

"I was inside the building when the blast came. Then boom, the building collapsed. Furniture, chairs and cabinets blasted into the room I was in," said survivor Kushnoo Akhtara, a 55-year-old Pakistani worker, who was covered in dirt and
bleeding from multiple cuts over his body.

Health ministry spokesman Saad al-Qahtani said 135 people were injured, mostly men and including some foreigners.

Abdullah al-Rabiah, the Saudi health minister, visited injured in King Saud hospital.

"Most of the injuries were minor and we have orders to provide the best care for them," he said.

Dozens of burnt-out vehicles surrounded the scene of the blast, including a small bus and other cars on top of the flyover, which was left buckled by the explosion.

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