Split in natural gas tank blamed for blaze that burned four

An explosion and fire Monday serves to remind expats of the dangers of liquified natural gas, the type many homes use for cooking.

The mishap Monday was in Barrio El Carmen, Alajuela, near the Escuela Holanda. The Cuerpo de Bomberos said that a 25-pound gas cylinder appears to have developed a split in a side. Gas leaked out and created an explosive mix with the air.

The small eating place was the scene of an explosion and fire. A child suffered burns over 70 percent of the body. Three women suffered burns over 60 percent of their bodies, said fire fighters.

Fire fighters said that the split in the metal tank was possibly caused by metal fatigue. Similar fires have taken place because of leaks around the connections or hoses. In fact, the Cuerpo de Bomberos said that problems with valves is the No. 1 cause of emergencies, followed by hose problems. Sometimes homeowners use hoses that are not designed for gas.

Five persons have died since 2009 in gas explosions. There have been 16 to 17 gas emergencies in the last two years, fire fighters said

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