Three killed and 24 injured in Malaysian shopping centre explosion
- The local fire chief described the blast as one of the worst tragedies in years. Investigations into the cause are still ongoing but it was not a bomb, he said
Three people were killed and 24 injured on Tuesday when a powerful explosion rocked a shopping centre in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
The official Bernama news agency said the blast at City One Megamall in the state capital of Kuching could have been caused by a leaking gas tank.
Wan Abdul Mubin, head of the local fire department said his office received an emergency call at 3.37pm.
Hopefully no one is badly injured or died. Explosion in City One mall Kuching. pic.twitter.com/WcoF4bNEAc
— The I̷l̷l̷o̷g̷i̷c̷a̷l̷ Malaysian (@MalaysianLalang) December 4, 2018
“We scrambled 39 officers to the scene. We are investigating the cause of the explosion. It is one of the worst tragedies in the state in years. But it is not a bomb,” he said. “We recovered the bodies of three men. And we have helped in the evacuation of 24 people injured to the nearby public hospital.”
He said the explosion happened near a store on the ground floor of the shopping centre that was undergoing renovation.
A video clip of the aftermath showed the facade of the store torn apart, with some people screaming for help.
“I was purchasing a pizza in front of the shop when suddenly a strong explosion occurred,” George Sting, 39, told Bernama, the news agency.
“The workers in the shop immediately ran out,” he said, adding that some were seriously injured.
Wina Simion, 46, who was sitting near the store with her family members said the explosion caused their table to flip.