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11 injured in gas blast in restaurant in Sofia

Updated: 2013-08-19 10:55
( Xinhua)

SOFIA - Eleven people were injured when a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) canister exploded Sunday evening in a Chinese restaurant in central Sofia.

The blast happened at around 7:20 pm local time (1720 GMT) in a Chinese restaurant on the second floor of a building opposite the landmark Russian Church in downtown Sofia, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry said in a statement.

A total of 11 people were injured and sent to three hospitals for treatment.

Stoyan Sopotenski, director of the Pirogov Hospital on duty, told Xinhua that one Bulgarian man with severe head injury was in serious condition.

The powerful blast also smashed windows of nearby houses. Two cars were crushed by bricks and debris.

Local newspaper The Sofia Globe said that eye-witnesses reported a strong smell of gas shortly after the explosion and the blast was strong enough to trigger alarms in nearby banks.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev and Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova both went to the scene of the accident. Yovchev told reporters that all the LPG cylinders were taken out of the building and there was no danger to residents nearby.

Yovchev said that gas leak from the cylinder may be the cause of the explosion.

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