VIDEO: Witnesses recall Cork gas explosion after 2 injured

The scene at Ballinspittle, Co Cork, where there was an explosion and fire at Cafe Diva.

Staff at a home and garden store in Co Cork yesterday recalled how the premises shook in the aftermath of an explosion that hospitalised two people at the café next door.

The explosion took place at the Diva café in Ballinspittle, 9km from Kinsale at approximately 10.30am yesterday.

A man and a woman were rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital. Their injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

While the incident is to be investigated by the Health and Safety Authority and the gardaí, local sources claimed the explosion occurred when the injured pair were changing a gas cylinder at the rear of the café.

VIDEO: Witnesses recall Cork gas explosion after 2 injured

Firefighters at the scene at Ballinspittle, Co. Cork, where there was an explosion and fire at Cafe Diva. 

The injured man was JJ Hegarty, owner of the Centra store across the street from the café. It was said the businessman had offered to help to change the gas cylinder at the time of the incident.

Diva yesterday said on social media, while their café was closed, their bakery remains open, and there were no serious injuries as a result of the blast.

Gas Networks Ireland confirmed the village was not serviced by a gas line.

Sharon Ó Cinnéide, of La Vie En Rose home and garden store praised the efforts of the fire brigade in containing the damage.

VIDEO: Witnesses recall Cork gas explosion after 2 injured

Sharon O'Cinneide, (left) shop owner of La Vie en Rose home & garden centre which is next to the Diva CafÈ, and Emily Connell, who works at the home & garden centre, photographed near the scene at Ballinspittle, Co. Cor

“There was extensive damage done to the kitchen [of the café], and quite a big blast, and it spread nextdoor to our property,” Ms Ó Cinnéide said.

Emily Connell of La Vie En Rose said she felt and heard the explosion at the café, which she said sounded like a large wardrobe falling over upstairs.

The side door to the store slammed shut with the draft from the blast, she said.

Ms Connell said staff from the nearby Barryroe Co-op garage and store spotted the thick black smoke billowing from the back of the café and ran to evacuate it.

Barry Collins, senior fire officer with Cork County Fire Service, said a call was received at around 10.40am and units from Kinsale and Bandon responded.

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