A family dinner turned tragedy when a portable steamboat gas stove exploded in a restaurant in Alam Mesra, Kota Kinabalu on Sunday night.
Roberto Antoni, 28 and his wife, Wujon Maria Mae, along with their two children were injured due to the explosion.
Lintas Fire and Rescue Service (BBP) chief Agustavia Joe Guasi said they received a call at 9.06pm, 13 personnel were rushed to the scene.
“Four victims suffered scalds due to hot water and burns from the fire.
“The two children were sent to the hospital by a civilian before the team arrived while others were given treatment by the medical team before they were taken to hospital by ambulance,” he said when contacted on Monday.
He further said inspections were done to avoid more explosions.
“By 9.35 pm everything was back in order,” he said.
This isn’t the first time a steamboat explosion has happened, and many are questioning the safety behind it. Is the meal worth it if you might suffer injuries from it?
A fire safety expert, who likened improperly maintained portable gas cookers to potential time bombs, wants them banned in Singapore.
Greencross Safety Fire and Equipment chief executive William Lee, 70, told The New Paper that without regular maintenance, the cookers could become rusty and prone to gas leaks.
“It’s like a bomb, because a gas leak can cause an explosion if there is an open flame from the cooker or other cookers around,” said Mr Lee.
Mr Lee, who has been a fire safety consultant for more than 40 years, said the cookers pose a danger if restaurants use them for long periods and without proper maintenance.
He suggested safety measures such as flashback arrestors being built into the cookers as these would stop flames from travelling back into the canisters and causing them to explode.
Another option is to use electric cookers.
Users can check for gas leaks by applying soapy water and looking out for bubbles.
However, the best way to prevent an accident is to exercise proper usage and maintenance, he said.
So be wary hotpot and steamboat lovers, that delicious meal might just be your last.