Browsing 'explosion' News

A view of Indian Coffee House damage this morning.

Peter Kovessy

A view of Indian Coffee House damage this morning.

A gas explosion has left one injured and temporarily shuttered a popular coffee shop/restaurant off of B Ring Road near the Al Jaidah Flyover.

The blast took place yesterday afternoon shortly after 3pm at Indian Coffee House on Fareej Abdul Aziz Street.

A view of Indian Coffee House damage this morning.

Peter Kovessy

A view of Indian Coffee House damage this morning.

Because it was a break time for the restaurant, no customers were inside when the explosion happened, Noushad CK, CEO of Shelter International Group, which owns the coffee shop, told Doha News.

However, two staff were present at the time of the blast, including an employee who was cleaning the kitchen.

He may have accidentally disconnected the pipe that attaches one of the restaurant’s metal gas cylinders to the stove burner, causing a leak, CK said.

The force of the eventual explosion shattered the front windows of the restaurant, and the staffer was treated for minor burns on his arm before being released from the hospital yesterday, CK said.

He added that he believed the restaurant would reopen within four to five days, after the glass panes are replaced and the kitchen is repaired.

Gas cylinder safety

Yesterday’s blast comes a year after a deadly gas explosion that originated from a Turkish restaurant near Landmark Mall.

Aftermath of last year's explosion at Istanbul restaurant.

Nada Badawi

Aftermath of last year’s explosion at Istanbul restaurant.

The cause of that blast was apparently a pizza oven that had not been turned off properly. The leaking gas eventually was ignited by a spark from kitchen equipment, and the explosion was so strong it affected several neighboring shops, killing 11 people and injured dozens of others.

Qatar authorities have long cautioned residents to take care when cooking with gas, saying in the event of a leak, to immediately open all doors and windows to help dissipate the gas.

They add that people should not turn on the exhaust fan for ventilation or switch on the lights, because that may ignite the flammable gas.

Shafaf

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Shafaf

In an effort to further boost safety, Qatar Fuel (Woqod) has this week launched a new campaign to motivate people to switch from metal cylinders to the newer, safer Shafaf ones.

Those who trade in their old metal cylinders between March 1 and May 31 will be given a discount of QR100 on the new containers, so that the price would be QR265 instead of QR365, the Peninsula reports.

Citing a senior Woqod official, the newspaper said there are about 600,000 metal cylinders in the market, compared to 150,000 Shafaf ones, which are considered safer due to leakage protection.

Thoughts?

Elysia Windrum

One of Al Khor’s few gas stations has been shuttered following a weekend incident in which a gas tank apparently erupted underground.

North Field gas station and several shops inside the complex – which include a Honda service center, eateries, a pharmacy and a grocery store – remained closed today, with Al Fazaa tape cordoning off the perimeter.

Elysia Windrum

Shopkeepers who spoke to Doha News said that the explosion occurred at 6am on Saturday morning.

Because the incident happened early on a weekend morning, the site was empty and there were no injuries, they said.

Additionally, the ground did not cave in, as it did during a similar incident at a different petrol station last year. Several shop windows were shattered from the force of the blast.

The shopkeepers explained that the explosion was quickly controlled, with police and fire trucks arriving at the scene shortly after the blast.

They added that most stores would likely reopen by the end of the week.

But the gas station’s reopening date remains unknown. One of the shopkeepers onsite told Doha News:

“The reopening of the station depends on the station’s management. We are all under different management. The gas tank is yet to be restored, so it could take some time before things are in working order.”

‘Time bomb’

The safety of Qatar’s petrol stations has been called into question recently, due to a spate of incidents. Earlier this year, a gas tank explosion at a restaurant inside a petrol station complex near Landmark killed 11 people.

Scene of accident near Landmark Mall.

Nadim Ziade/Twitter

Scene of accident near Landmark Mall in February 2014.

And in September of last year, an underground tank at a station on C-Ring Road apparently exploded, causing the ground to cave in and damaging several vehicles.

Al Andalus petrol station

Peter Kovessy

Al Andalus petrol station

Al Andalus Petrol Station remains closed to this day, but is now being rebuilt and is expected to open soon – an idea that residents who are having trouble finding places to fill up their tanks would welcome.

Speaking to the Qatar Tribune after the blast at C-Ring Road’s gas station, Saud bin Abdullah al Hanzab, who at the time was chairman of the Central Municipal Council (CMC), criticized the country’s petrol stations, saying:

“They are a time bomb. Anything could have happened after the tanks suddenly caved in. We wish to avoid these things and want that the new designs avoid these things and situate the stations far away from neighborhoods.”

Government responses

Some efforts to improve safety at petrol stations around Qatar have been made following February’s deadly explosion.

Several restaurants at Abu Hamour Petrol Station were closed temporarily in February.

Nada Badawi

Several restaurants at Abu Hamour Petrol Station were closed temporarily in February as a preemptive safety measure.

For example, authorities cracked down on eateries located at gas stations who were flouting a two year-old law that mandates the use of electric stoves instead of gas ones.

The explosion, which took place at one of the station’s restaurants, was apparently caused by a pizza oven that had been left on and leaked gas.

The sale of Woqod Shafaf LPG gas cylinders at petrol stations was also temporarily halted in a bid prevent further gas station explosions.

Thoughts?

hilton doha

Hilton Doha/Facebook

An explosion at the Hilton Doha in West Bay last night has injured two people, the hotel chain’s regional head office in Dubai told Doha News.

The people, who had been working on the hotel site, were admitted to the hospital following the blast, which occurred at around 1:45am Wednesday morning, said Heather Shaw, Hilton’s senior director of corporate communications.

In a statement, she added:

“Hilton Doha can confirm that during the early morning of Wednesday, November 27th a small fire occurred outside the hotel, which was quickly curtailed and extinguished. There was no need for a formal evacuation of guests, the hotel is functioning as normal and continues to make every effort to ensure that all practices and standards are in line with strict safety and security regulations.”

Both people, who worked for a company contracted by Hilton, suffered minor injuries. One of them has already been discharged from the hospital, and the other is likely to leave later today, she said.

No further details about the two injured workers have been released, and the hotel will not elaborate on the cause of the explosion or fire.

Witnesses

Several residents tweeted about hearing a loud noise coming from the hotel in the early hours of the morning:

Investigation

The hotel says an inquiry is underway into the cause of the explosion, which happened within its grounds, but not inside the building itself.

On the side of the hotel near the parking lot, Civil Defense officials were seen by Doha News this afternoon replacing a white cylindrical tank that could have been a gas tank. A fire truck, ambulances and fire extinguishers were also observed, and were presumably on hand as a safety precaution.

There were no obvious signs of damage to the building, and the hotel is operating normally. In a statement sent to Doha News, Hilton Worldwide said:

Local authorities are aware of the incident and an immediate investigation has been launched into the situation.”

Thoughts?