QUITO – The owner of a Quito restaurant where two people died this week in a gas explosion will be charged with manslaughter, an Ecuadorian prosecutor said on Tuesday.
The owner, a Chinese citizen, is being held without bail and his bank accounts have been frozen, Thania Moreno told a press conference.
A 7-year-old boy and a woman in her 80s were killed and a dozen other people injured when a gas cylinder of the second floor of the restaurant shortly before midnight on Christmas Eve.
Speaking alongside Moreno, Quito fire chief Eber Arroyo said the investigation revealed that a station for refilling domestic gas cylinders had been set up on the second floor of the establishment.
The working theory is that a spark ignited an accumulation of gas, leading to the explosion and subsequent fire, the chief said.
Firefighters found 44 gas cylinders on the second floor.
All but 11 of those cylinders were of the domestic type rather than the industrial-grade model that restaurants are required to use, prosecutor Ivan Ron said.