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Christmas Eve gas explosion kills 2 at restaurant in Ecuador’s capital

Quito, Dec 25 (EFE).- At least two people were killed and eight others injured when a gas cylinder exploded on Christmas Eve at a restaurant in Ecuador’s capital, the ECU-911 Integrated Emergency Services System said Monday.

The blast killed a 7-year-old boy and an 80-year-old woman just before midnight at the eatery in Quito’s business district.

The explosion was apparently caused by an accumulation of gas inside the restaurant, the fire department said.

The 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.

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