Restaurants checked after Macau gas blast

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 July, 2011, 12:00am

Macau authorities have started a city-wide crackdown on restaurants in breach of licensing regulations a day after 13 people were injured when a gas leak at a Chinese restaurant sparked a big explosion.

The Provisional Municipal Council of Macau, which issues licences to small and medium-sized restaurants including fast-food and noodle shops, said officials had started inspecting 1,500 restaurants.

Checks will be carried out to ensure that fuel is secured properly and that legal limits for inventories are not infringed.

The restaurant on Rua de Malaca, which was reduced to rubble in the blast, had 13 cylinders of liquefied petroleum gas in its kitchen. The legal limit is four.

The council said the restaurant owner would be fined 15,000 to 35,000 patacas.

A Hong Kong man seriously injured in the explosion remained in hospital yesterday. A health bureau spokesman said the man, who had been asleep on a wall outside the restaurant, was now out of intensive care. Officials have contacted relatives of the 48-year-old, who suffered a number of fractures after being hit by debris.

Centaline (Macau) regional sales director Noel Cheung said the shopping complex that housed the restaurant, the Centro Internacional De Macau, was a popular shelter for gamblers from Hong Kong who stayed there briefly before returning home.

She said the 20-year-old complex was also a popular choice for foreign workers who needed affordable flats, as rents were 20 to 30 per cent below market prices.

The city's telephone system, which was damaged by Tuesday's blast, was largely back to normal, said operator Companhia de Telecomunicacoes de Macau. The ticketing service for Hong Kong-Macau ferries had also returned to normal.


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