After a gas explosion that took place on Thursday 27 February 2014 at a Turkish restaurant on the north side of Landmark Mall, leaving 11 people dead and 35 others injured, a committee was formed under directives of HE Prime Minister and Minister of Interior (MoI) Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani to study on the pervasive gas smell.

The committee had its initial meeting under the presidency of the Director General of Public Security and Chairman of Permanent Emergency Committee on Sunday 23 March 2014 with concerned bodies. The committee decided to set up a team working round the clock with members from Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Energy and Industry, General Directorate of Civil Defence and Qatar Fuel (Woqod). The team will observe all air monitoring stations across the country to monitor the air quality. The team is all set to receive complaints at operations room of Ministry of Environment on 998 or Central Operation Room on 999. The committee will function with further procedures followed by communicating with relevant bodies.

According to the committee, the gas explosion was a result of an oven at the restaurant, which wasn’t properly turned off and leaking liquid petroleum gas (LPG). The officials claim that an electricity socket sparked thus leading to the gas explosion.

Colonel Abdullah Al Muftah urges the Qatari community to report any suspicious to the Civil Defense Department and the Ministry of Interior, noting that the operating room receive reports and complains round the clock on 999. As well, the Public Relations Department welcomes all type of communications, inquiries and information through its various channels of communication.

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Interior Ministry Announces Gas Blast Inquiry Findings

The Ministry of Interior announced findings of an inquiry on gas explosion at Istanbul Restaurant located at a petrol station nearby Landmark Mall on 27 February  2014. The accident was caused by leaked Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) from one of the pizza ovens at the restaurant which was left open.

According to Brigadier Ali Khujaim Al Adhbi, the security agencies are responsible for gathering information, and it is not its role to accuse any one. All the information collected from persons involved, witnesses, surveillance cameras have been referred to the Public Prosecution which in turn will decide whom shall be accused according to the findings.

Director of Forensic Lab Department Brigaider Hassan Ahmed Al Obaidly stated that the forensic lab experts visited the site soon after the incident and debris of accident were moved to the labs under the Department for further analysis. The findings concluded that blast occurred as a result of a gas explosion caused by a gas leak in a pizza oven, which was left open. He said:

The gas leak from the open oven filled the restaurant with gas while the restaurant was closed, and with the presence of electric sparks resulting from automatic operation and closure of the electrical appliances at the restaurant led to gas flaring and thus restaurant was exploded fully.’

According to Brigadier Al Obaidly, experts have reached on this conclusion and that there was no act of sabotage as nothing was found to prove it.

On his part, Director of Operations Department at General Directorate of Civil Defence (GDCD) Brigadier Hamad Al Duhaimi, said that after this incident, the GDCD has taken a series of measures to ensure effective implementation of the law to protect citizens, residents and public and private properties. As part of it, restaurants located at fuel stations prevented from using open flames and they were asked to replace them with electric stoves.  The concerned authorities of the Ministry Interior such as GDCD and Public Relations Department has announced through various media on these restriction.  He pointed that the Civil Defense has campaigned to make sure that shops are abiding by these safety procedures.  Most of the shops responded positively  while some of them were closed for not abiding by these regulations.