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6 killed, 12 injured in Rafah tunnel blast

May 29, 2010 4:42 P.M. (Updated: May 31, 2010 9:34 A.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – Gaza medics said sixPalestinians were killed and 12 others were injured on Saturday when a gas cylinder exploded inside a southern Gaza tunnel.

Chief of Ambulance and Emergency services in Gaza Muawiya Hassanein told Ma’an that the workers were inside the tunnel when the cylinder exploded and that three sustained critical injuries.

The six killed in the explosion were identified as Anwar Nizar Kaware and Hasan Zaki Kaware, both in their twenties,Medhat Ash-Sha'er, Naji Ash-Sha'er, Ashraf Ash-Sha'er, the brothers Yasser and Husni Kaware, and their relative Anwar Kaware, the official said.

Gas cylinders are one of the many items smuggled into the coastal enclave following Israel's siege, which limits the amount of fuel into Gaza, dramatically reducing its sole power station's ability to function and provide energy to residents.

As a result of the ongoing blackouts caused by the fuel shortfall, many have opted for alternative energy sources, in turn causing a host of accidents resulting from improper storage, use, or sub-par fuel.

In April, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said such generator- related accidents stemmed from "the protracted electricity crisis,[and resulting] reliance on portable generators."

Responding to the crisis, Oxfam International launched a campaign to raise public awareness about the safe use of alternative energy sources.

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