Australia shopping mall explosion kills two, injures eight
03 February 2015
Two people are confirmed dead and eight more are injured after an explosion in a shopping complex in Western Australia on February 3. Local media said that a transformer exploded at or near a Woolworths at the Galleria shopping centre in Morley, northeast Perth, at about 9.30am, although police said the cause of the explosion was unknown.
Three of the injured were taken to Royal Perth Hospital with serious burns, with one suffering burns to 80% of his body. Two of the men are in critical condition. A woman who was trying to assist the injured was taken to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for smoke inhalation.
St John Ambulance said half a dozen people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and shock. Some of the injured were electrical contractors who had been inside the Woolworths.
One witness told Perth Now she had seen “a wall of flames’’ coming out of the side of the Morley Galleria and at least three people on fire. She said she heard an expolsion like a gas bottle going off.
WA Police said in a statement: “One person is confirmed deceased, and three others are being treated for injuries received, one of whom is in a critical condition. It is believed all four persons were working in an area near the electrical transformer.
“The cause of the explosion is unknown and WA Police will be working with WorkSafe and EnergySafety personnel as part of the investigation. A report will be prepared for the Coroner.”
The company that employed the two fatalities has pledged to fully co-operate with investigations into the horrific blast. They, and two more who were seriously injured , were employees and subcontractors of privately-owned High Energy Service Pty Ltd and were undertaking maintenance work at the shopping centre.
"Our staff are currently working with [the Department of Fire and Emergency Services] to ensure the site is safe. We will be fully co-operating with all the relevant authorities in their investigations and will be conducting our own investigation.
"Our focus at this moment is supporting those injured people and their families and our other employees."