Sports‎ > ‎

Barbecue explosion rocks New Zealand house

posted 9 Aug 2012, 05:12 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 9 Aug 2012, 05:13 ]

Hundreds are evacuted from New Zealand's Olympic hospitality house after a fire caused by gas canisters exploded in a barbecue.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 8, 2012)  (SOCIAL MEDIA)  - Hundreds of guests were evacuated, without injury, after a barbecue caught fire at New Zealand's London Olympic hospitality house on Wednesday (August 8).

Amateur video obtained by Reuters show the exact moment of the explosion which sent flames up in the patio where a barbecue was taken place.

There was panic as guests initially left the venue without knowing the cause of the explosion and police officers ordered everybody to get away from the area.

"The first thing I knew about is that the alarm was going off when they asked us to evacuate and it was all really orderly," said New Zealander witness Sam Forgie. "It was a decent size explosion and they got us to the other side of the bridge," he added.

Fire engines were quickly at the scene as guests and officials ran for safety.

Ella Gibson, who was working at the Kiwi house, described what happened.

"The chefs kind of said 'oh my God is on fire, everyone move, everyone,' the chefs tried to put it out and from there everybody moved as quickly as they could and next thing I was there, turned around and it exploded," she said.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee confirmed in a statement that "there was a fire this evening at approximately 7.30pm (1830 GMT) in the outdoor area of Kiwi House in London, an outdoor oven caught fire."

The statement adds "people were safely and swiftly evacuated, and emergency services were called. Once people were safely evacuated the barbecue gas bottle exploded. There are no reported injuries and the situation is now contained."

Two fire engines and 10 firefighters put the blaze out and and a cordon was put around the building as a precaution.

BBC television reported that up to 700 people were evacuated after the fire near King's Cross station.

Kiwi House, inside Central St Martins College, is open to athletes, officials and the public and is a short walk from the Javelin high speed train terminal that takes passengers to the Olympic Park.

After 13 days of competition, New Zealand are 17th in the medals table with a total of 10 -- three gold, two silver and five bronze.