Family devastated after gas explosion razed Rivonia restaurant and several shops

30 November 2019 - 18:41 By Alex Patrick
A fire has ravaged a shopping centre on Rivonia Boulevard in Johannesburg after a gas explosion at Istanbul Kebab & Shawarma injured several people working in the kitchen. A bottle store, barber and hairdresser were also razed.
A fire has ravaged a shopping centre on Rivonia Boulevard in Johannesburg after a gas explosion at Istanbul Kebab & Shawarma injured several people working in the kitchen. A bottle store, barber and hairdresser were also razed.
Image: Emer-G-Med

The family who own the Johannesburg restaurant which burnt to the ground on Saturday, taking  several shops with it, are devastated that their livelihood is gone.

The Istanbul Kebab & Shawarma restaurant, opposite the Rivonia Boulevard shopping centre, suffered a gas explosion in the early afternoon after a gas line allegedly detached in the kitchen.

Seven people were injured, two critically after a fire broke out as a result of the explosion. According to a business owner on the scene, the fire also razed the next door bottle store, two hairdressing shops, a barber shop and a locksmith.

The owner's niece, who did not want to be named, told TimesLIVE that the family was devastated. She said her uncle had been injured in the fire and her father was taking the news very badly.

Emer-G-Med spokesperson Karien Naude said the owner and the restaurant manager were both injured after going into the kitchen to help evacuate staff.

Naude said they got the call just after 12pm, but the initial details were sketchy and they were told it was a shooting. When they arrived they found an explosion had taken place and that civilians had helped several of the injured out of the building.

"Two patients are critical with massive burn injuries to more than half their bodies, they were [airlifted to hospital] with Netcare. Five other people were treated for various injuries including burns and smoke inhalations. 

"We set up a triage area [to assess patients ] from the fire and whilst we were busy we heard several explosions, as the fire spread. 

"We were told a gas line had detached in the kitchen of the restaurant which caused the fire, but the causes will be investigated," said Naude.

She said the owner of the restaurant made several trips into the kitchen to evacuate all the staff and was treated for smoke inhalation.

"All emergency services assisted and it was good team work which enabled us to help those on scene," Naude said. 


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