Mobile phone, gas leak cause explosion at Yangon shopping center

The aftermath of the Marketplace explosion, seen on June 3, 2018. Photo: Yangon Police
The aftermath of the Marketplace explosion, seen on June 3, 2018. Photo: Yangon Police

Eight workers were injured by an explosion at the Marketplace shopping center on Pyay Road in 6.5 Mile on Saturday night. The workers were sent to Yangon General Hospital for burn treatment.

A video taken by an onlooker in the aftermath of the blast showed an injured worker being hauled out of the shopping center on a sheet by what appear to be an EMT and police officers.

According to statement released by City Properties, the shopping center’s parent company, the explosion occurred while 12 workers were doing maintenance work in a shop that had recently been vacated by the restaurant Hong Bao Dimsum House. After the blast, security staff were able to put out the fire with three fire extinguishers.

The Fire Services Department, police force, and bomb squad later arrived on the scene to investigate the explosion and determined that it had been triggered by a gas leak that ignited when a worker plugged his mobile phone into a power strip to charge.

The second floor of the shopping center, where the blast occurred, was open for business by Sunday at 4pm after being inspected by the Fire Services Department and the Ministry of Energy.

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