cafE blast: gas leak to blame

2012-02-03 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Three employees of a Mugg & Bean restaurant in Kempton Park were seriously injured in a gas explosion yesterday morning.

Experts from the restaurant’s gas suppliers, fire and explosives experts from the police and emergency services were on scene the whole day attempting to determine the cause of the massive blast, which happened at about 7.45 am.

Clement Masinge, spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni emergency services, said they were called to the scene just after 8 am.

There was no fire, but the ceiling had been torn down by the force of the explosion.

He said the injured were treated on scene before being taken to the Arwyp hospital in Kempton Park. Three people were admitted to the intensive care unit.

Hospital spokesperson Dori-Anne Oosthuizen said they treated 23 people, 20 of them for slight injuries and shock.

Graeme Morrison, the head of the bar and restaurant division of Famous Brands, which controls the Mugg & Bean franchise, said the first indications were that a gas pipe or a gas control valve in a back room had leaked.

When workers lit the stoves to begin food preparation the escaped gas exploded.

The force of the blast brought down the ceiling and shattered glass doors and windows.

Security guards and staff from nearby businesses who rushed to help inhaled gas and were cut by glass shards.

No damage was done to nearby shops, Morrison said, and it didn’t appear that major structural damage had been caused to the restaurant.

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