One injured in gas explosion at Indian Coffee House in Qatar

A view of Indian Coffee House damage this morning.

A gas explosion has left one injured and temporarily shuttered a popular coffee shop/restaurant off of B Ring Road near the Al Jaidah Flyover.

The blast took place yesterday afternoon shortly after 3pm at Indian Coffee House on Fareej Abdul Aziz Street.

A view of Indian Coffee House damage this morning.

Because it was a break time for the restaurant, no customers were inside when the explosion happened, Noushad CK, CEO of Shelter International Group, which owns the coffee shop, told Doha News.

However, two staff were present at the time of the blast, including an employee who was cleaning the kitchen.

He may have accidentally disconnected the pipe that attaches one of the restaurant’s metal gas cylinders to the stove burner, causing a leak, CK said.

The force of the eventual explosion shattered the front windows of the restaurant, and the staffer was treated for minor burns on his arm before being released from the hospital yesterday, CK said.

He added that he believed the restaurant would reopen within four to five days, after the glass panes are replaced and the kitchen is repaired.

Gas cylinder safety

Yesterday’s blast comes a year after a deadly gas explosion that originated from a Turkish restaurant near Landmark Mall.

Aftermath of last year's explosion at Istanbul restaurant.

The cause of that blast was apparently a pizza oven that had not been turned off properly. The leaking gas eventually was ignited by a spark from kitchen equipment, and the explosion was so strong it affected several neighboring shops, killing 11 people and injured dozens of others.

Qatar authorities have long cautioned residents to take care when cooking with gas, saying in the event of a leak, to immediately open all doors and windows to help dissipate the gas.

They add that people should not turn on the exhaust fan for ventilation or switch on the lights, because that may ignite the flammable gas.

Shafaf

In an effort to further boost safety, Qatar Fuel (Woqod) has this week launched a new campaign to motivate people to switch from metal cylinders to the newer, safer Shafaf ones.

Those who trade in their old metal cylinders between March 1 and May 31 will be given a discount of QR100 on the new containers, so that the price would be QR265 instead of QR365, the Peninsula reports.

Citing a senior Woqod official, the newspaper said there are about 600,000 metal cylinders in the market, compared to 150,000 Shafaf ones, which are considered safer due to leakage protection.

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