Lebanon: Gas blast kills 10 at Beirut restaurant, minister says

Lebanon: Gas blast kills 10 at Beirut restaurant, minister says
An explosion at a restaurant in Beirut caused by a gas leak left 10 people dead, authorities said Tuesday.
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The blast in the restaurant has prompted lawmakers to question safety regulations at the Beirut restaurant [Getty/file photo]

A fire caused by a gas canister explosion killed at least 10 people at a restaurant in Beirut on Tuesday, a Lebanese government minister and firefighters said.

Earlier, the state-run National News Agency quoted the Beirut Fire Brigade as saying that "eight victims died of suffocation inside the restaurant".

The firefighters put out a blaze in a small restaurant in Beirut after "a gas leak caused an explosion at the restaurant", NNA added, quoted the same source.

Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi toured the site, also telling reporters at least eight people had been killed "by suffocation" in the blast.

Some lawmakers representing Beirut also visited, with parliament member Ibrahim Mneimneh questioning safety standards at the restaurant.

The accident "shows this place was not in line with public safety standards", he said.

Lebanon's economy has been in free-fall since late 2019, worsening a long-running public oversight problem in different sectors, especially with regard to public safety.