Blast at restaurant in mall

KUALA LUMPUR - A restaurant at the ground floor of the Maju Junction Shopping Mall caught fire in an explosion believed to be due to a gas leak.

A distress call was received at about 11.25pm, said City Fire and Rescue Department operations assistant director Azizan Ismail.

"A fire engine from the Chow Kit fire station was immediately dispatched to the scene and found that the explosion occurred due to a leak in a gas pipe in the restaurant's kitchen.

"The severity of the explosion caused the glass doors and ceiling at the restaurant to break and collapse," he said yesterday.

Firemen then shut off the gas supply to the restaurant.

Azizan said a Hazmat (hazardous materials) team was also dispatched to the scene to assess the damage and inspect the gas valves and pipes.

"No one was injured during the incident as the shopping mall closes at 10pm daily," he said, adding that the restaurant was closed till further notice.

Mall general manager Albert Khoo said this was the first time such an incident had occurred since the premises opened in 2002.

Yesterday's was the second explosion at a shopping mall after a similar explosion rocked the Empire Shopping Gallery in September.

That explosion resulted in four people being injured.