PATONG: The chef at a newly opened restaurant on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd suffered first- and second-degree burns to 40% of his body after a cooking gas cylinder exploded on Wednesday morning.

Pol Capt Jongserm Preecha of the Kathu Police told the Gazette that he received a report at 8 am that there was an explosion at Patong Corner Restaurant, on the corner of Soi Jintana.

The chef at the restaurant, 32-year-old Chairat Inkaew from Phang Nga, had his arms and upper body scorched in the explosion. He was rushed to Patong Hospital, and later transferred to the burns ward at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City.

Capt Jongserm said the blast likely resulted either from carelessness on the part of staff or faulty equipment, which had only recently been installed.

The new restaurant opened for business on December 17, he added.

Capt Jongserm estimated the damages to the restaurant at 300,000 to 400,000 baht.

“The restaurant was fitted out with all high-quality materials. The owner said that he had invested about 1 million baht [in the restaurant],” Capt Jongserm said.

The owner is a Bangkok-based investor, he added.

K. Chairat is now listed in stable condition and is able to walk. However, he is expected to be hospital bound for about two weeks.