Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Explosion at Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang Jaya

Four people were injured while more than 300 were rescued and evacuated after a suspected gas leak caused an explosion on the lower ground floor of the Empire Shopping Gallery here early Wednesday.

The 3.45am explosion damaged two other floors in the complex. It also caused damage to the adjoining office block and studio apartments.

The damage to the lower and ground floor of the mall was caused by the impact of the explosion rather than fire.

Police have ruled out sabotage or terrorism as the cause of the gas explosion. Meanwhile, Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who visited the scene, said the mall would be temporarily closed to the public, pending safety assurance by the authorities and building is deemed safe although no serious structural damage was detected at the location of the explosion. The temporary closure will affect 180 tenants.

Update: Sep 29
The explosion caused extensive damage to this section of the mall.
Empire Shopping Gallery has been closed for the authorities to determine the cause of a gas explosion which rocked the building, injuring four people.

The closure, which covers the entire complex that houses a hotel, commercial and residential units, is effective until the structures are declared safe by the authorities.

Empire Shopping Gallery is a popular shopping mall attracting thousands of shoppers daily.

The management company that manages the mall confirmed that the building's main structure is still intact, noting that the damage is confined to glass panels, ceiling boards and several brick walls “mainly due to the rapid expansion of air during the explosion”.

About 300 people were rescued and evacuated, including some 170 hotel guests who were relocated to nearby hotels for safety reasons. Employees who turned up for work this morning were asked to go home as the mall is closed until further notice.

The effects of the explosion reached both ends of the mall, and all five levels recorded some form of damage.

Several windows as high up as the eighth floor of the 12-storey office tower were also shattered.

The public can get updates via various channels, including the mall's website (, Facebook (www.facebook/ and Twitter (Empire Alternatively, they can call 018-701 2880.

Related articles:
- Mall blast: Gas leak from restaurant was the source, Fire Dept confirms (Updated)
- Tenants a worried lot
- One to three months to know source of gas leak in Empire Gallery blast

Source: The Star


  1. Good thing the explosion didn't happen when shoppers are in the mall. That would be scary!

  2. this is a serious one.. but good thing it happened in the wee hours and injuries cut to the minimum..

  3. Lucky for the few with minor injuries but teruk for the 180 tenants biz interrupted.

  4. I can't imagine how horrible it would be if the explosion happened during peak shopping period. It would be really tragic then!

  5. Feel sorry for the business owners there. Such a bad news to them!

  6. on dear..

    I cant rem exactly where is this place.. I normally stay at Novotel KL

  7. I was a guest on the 12th floor of the Empire hotel at the time and couldn't sleep Wednesday morning and was finishing some work on my laptop when at 3.40 the whole building shook for a couple of seconds as if in an earthquake accompanied by the most tremendous noise!
    Given the time and the shock of the violence of the event it is forgiveable that it took some minutes for people to react. However, the only alarm raised was one of the hotel/Mall (it's all one complex) security walking up and down the relevant corridors (very) intermittantly blowing a whistle. There was no general fire or evacuation alarm, which, given the size and age of the hotel was scandalous! With very little response to the rather feeble use of the footbal whistle another security guard came on the scene and put a little more effort into raising the alarm. My colleague, two doors down the corridor from me wasn't aware of the incident - he believed he was dreaming - and went back to sleep. It was some minutes later that a member of the hotel staff opened his door with a Master Key and roused him.
    During this time I was evacuating the building down the emergency staircase. The lack of basic fire security was terrible. All the fire doors were propped open with sacks of concrete, buckets and other general building materials. The stairs were obstructed with these materials and with sand and other bits and pieces on them they were somewhat dangerous to descend. In addition, having made an albeit fraught descent at one of the lower levels (I forget which one!) the stair suddenly were halved in their width creating a bottleneck.
    We were told to assemble in the surface car-park across the road and eventually after some three hours somebody attempted to communicate with us all but he had no 'loud-hailer' type of device and his voice wasn't strong enough. We were moved around with no co-ordination between the police and hotel staff/security people.
    I appreciate that it's easy for me to critise from my home back in UK some two and a half days after the event (hindsight is a wonderful thing!) but surely the hotel management should have performed some form of evacuation drill prior to opening, in order to get their operating certificate.
    My thoughts go to the people who were injured. Thank God the injuries were only minor but the shock must have been terrible and I'm sure it will remain with them.
    Questions need to be asked of course, about the cause of the explosion and procedures need to be developed to try to prevent it happening again, with maybe more serious results. However, many questions have to be asked about the emergency procedures currently in place at the Empire Hotel!