DUBAI: An explosion blamed on a faulty gas cylinder in a building in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi raised alarm on Wednesday, with the U.S. embassy initially saying it suspected a possible missile strike.
The UAE, which prizes its reputation as a safe business and tourism hub, has been on edge in recent weeks after several missile and drone strikes blamed on the Houthi movement in Yemen.
Abu Dhabi civil defence said it received a report of a fire at 12:09 a.m. (2009 GMT) caused by a gas cylinder explosion in a building in a central residential area. It said there were no casualties, and asked the public to follow only official news sources and avoid spreading rumours.
"Specialized teams extinguished the fire, evacuated the building as a precaution and controlled the situation," the civil defence authority said in a statement on state media.
Earlier, the U.S. embassy had issued a warning of "reports of a possible missile or drone strike". A U.S. embassy spokesperson later told Reuters the warning was issued against the backdrop of recent security incidents, and thanked Abu Dhabi's emergency workers for containing the fire quickly.
Yemen's Houthis issued no claim for an attack on Wednesday. The movement, battling a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE, has claimed three attacks on the UAE since the start of this year, one killing three people. A fourth attack, involving drones that the UAE said were intercepted, was claimed by a separate, little-known group.