Sandwell restaurant oven leaking gas 'exploded in chef's face'

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The Alachi International RestaurantImage source, Google
Image caption,
The Alachi International Restaurant in Cradley Heath is now under new ownership

A chef suffered serious burns when a tandoor oven "exploded in his face".

The oven at The Alachi International Restaurant in Cradley Heath, Sandwell, was leaking gas and held together by tape, Sandwell Council said.

The restaurant, as well as its former manager and director, was fined after admitting health and safety offences at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

"It's only by luck that [the chef] wasn't killed," the council said. The restaurant was fined £175,000.

Alachi Restaurant Limited was also ordered to pay £4,300 in costs.

The authority brought charges against the restaurant, 53-year-old former director Khalid Hussain and former manager 45-year-old Mahbubur Rahman Chowdhury after the chef was injured in November 2017.

Its environmental health team found the tandoor oven was turned on and off using pliers, had to be lit using a flaming piece of paper and the pipework was held together by foam and sticky tape.

Image source, Sandwell Council
Image caption,
Gas pipes were held together with tape, the council said

The oven "exploded in [the chef's] face" when he attempted to light it, Sandwell Council said.

Hussain, of Somerville Road, and Chowdhury, of Talfourd Street, both in Birmingham, admitted five health and safety breaches each.

Both were sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 150 hours of unpaid work. They were also disqualified from being company directors for five years and ordered to pay £4,000 in prosecution costs as well as a £140 victim surcharge.

It is now under new ownership.

"Our checks found very dangerous conditions in the kitchen," Cllr Farut Shaeen said.

"It's only by luck that [the chef] wasn't killed, and that other people were not injured."

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