Restaurant blast report in a week

March 02, 2014 - 2:57:23 am

DOHA: An initial investigation report on the gas tank explosion in Istanbul Restaurant near the Landmark Mall in Gharafa on Thursday is expected to be issued by the end of this week.

A few hours after the blast that killed 11 people and injured 35, the Ministry of Interior announced the formation of a special committee to probe the incident. The committee comprises experts from the ministry, Lekhwiya and Woqod, to which the exploded gas tank belonged.

“The investigation is going in full swing and the initial report is expected to be issued by the end of this week,” reports Al Sharq.

With serious concerns being raised about the safety of gas tanks and cylinders used in eateries, especially those based in petrol station complexes, the authorities are gearing up to launch a massive inspection campaign at eateries across the country to ensure that they comply with the safety standards and requirements.

The campaign will be launched in the coming few days, with participation of the Civil Defence Department, Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning and other departments concerned. 

The inspections will specially focus on gas cylinders and there are clear instructions not to compromise on any safety lapse, whether it be major or minor, said the daily.

Meanwhile, mystery still shrouds over the cause of the accident, with experts suggesting that it is highly unlikely for such gas tanks to explode, given the high safety precautions. 

The Turkish Ambassador to Qatar, Ahmet Demirok, told this daily yesterday that the tragedy would have been much more severe if the Istanbul Restaurant had been open at the time of the explosion. “We are concerned about the safety of all people in Qatar, not only our citizens. Accidents could happen. We hope the Qatari authorities would take stricter measures to prevent a repetition of such incidents.” 

He said he had learnt from the owners of the restaurant that the explosion occurred about 30 minutes after the gas tank was refilled. 

“I was told that Woqod had taken all measures to ensure the safety of the gas tank. Whenever the gas goes below the required level, Woqod will get an automatic message and their authorised staff will come and refill the tank,” said the ambassador. 

He added that he was also waiting for the probe committee’s report. 

The Peninsula

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