Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Queensland, Australia
Anyone for Roast Cockroach?
Restaurant blown apart by roach bombs
A COMBINATION of 36 cockroach bombs and an oven pilot light has blown apart a Thai restaurant in Perth, Australia, injuring three men, two seriously.
A massive explosion rocked suburban Duncraig today after chemicals released during last night's do-it-yourself fumigation ignited, blowing out the back wall and lifting the roof off the Tamarind restaurant. The blast caused an estimated $500,000 damage, fire authorities said.
The restaurant owner and two staff members had closed the premises to set off 36 insect-control bombs throughout the building. Eight bombs would have been enough, West Australian police and fire and emergency personnel said.
Investigators believed a pilot light in one of the restaurant's ovens ignited the huge amount of chemicals released by the bombs to kill insects such as fleas and cockroaches. The three men, who had reached the restaurant's front door when the explosion occurred, were hospitalised with burns.
John McMillan, manager of the state fire investigations unit, said the pressure wave from the blast was powerful enough to lift the roof off the building.
"The restaurant owner has used the principle that if you use twice the soap, you get your hands twice as clean," Mr McMillan said. "He's just overdone it. This could have been a tragedy, although the men have been hospitalised it does not look as bad as first thought. This (cockroach bomb) is a good product, but this incident shows if you don't read the manufacturer's instructions, there can be very serious consequences."
WA Police said the injured men were treated at Royal Perth Hospital for burns. Two of the men today remained in the hospital's burns unit, with one suffering burns to 45 per cent of his body. The third went home after treatment.
Duncraig fire station officer Kieran Cooper said crews arrived to find the building devastated.
"The back wall's been blown out, the front window's been blown out, the ceilings caved down, there's extra wires hanging down, it's pretty (much) all a mess, probably close to $500,000 damage," Mr Cooper told ABC radio. Mr Cooper said the force of the blast was felt hundreds of metres away.
"It's only a couple of hundred metres from our fire station and we were sitting in the fire station and actually felt the explosion," he said. "The whole of the station seemed to shake."
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