QUITO – A young boy was killed and a dozen other people were injured when a gas cylinder exploded on Christmas Eve at a restaurant in Ecuador’s capital, the ECU-911 Integrated Emergency Services System said on Monday.
First responders initially said that a woman in her 80s was also killed, but authorities later determined that she was among the injured survivors being treated at a Quito hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.
The explosion was apparently caused by an accumulation of gas inside the restaurant, the fire department said.
The 7-year-old boy died while being transported in a taxi to a hospital, Quito fire chief Eber Arroyo told the El Comercio newspaper.
The blast, which destroyed the restaurant, occurred around 11:00 pm Sunday while an undetermined number of people were dining.
A gas cylinder exploded on the restaurant’s second floor, where firefighters found 44 other cylinders.
“These kinds of cylinders cannot be used in this kind of business, they have to be industrial cylinders,” Arroyo said.
The blast started a fire, which was extinguished by firefighters, and damaged several vehicles parked outside the restaurant.