Daily Rants

Explosion At Empire Shopping Gallery

September 28, 2011 by Galvin Tan in Daily Rants, Events with 36 Comments


At about 3.40am this morning, a loud explosion was heard coming from Empire Shopping Gallery. A gas leakage caused partial of the building to blow up.

Manchester United was playing Basel in the UEFA Champions League and was leading by 2-0 in first-half. Few minutes after the second-half kicked-off; I got the shock of my life when I heard a loud explosion that shook my entire house. In fact the blast was so powerful; my entire SS17 neighborhood was affected. Car alarms are wailing and dogs are barking.

Thinking it could be another freak thunder, I quickly peek through my window only to see a peaceful sight. I decided to take a look around the neighbourhood and it was then I found out that the explosion came from Empire Shopping Gallery. According to a friend on Twitter, the explosion can even be heard all the way from SS14.

I reached the scene at about 4.00am. At the time, policemen are already securing the area and putting up barriers. More police cars and fire engines arrived at the scene. Nobody had any idea of what had happened. Some can only speculate that the ground floor parking lot of Empire Shopping Gallery had already collapsed.

As I make my way to closer to the scene, I could clearly see that an explosion blasted through partial of the building. A quick glance from outside, the explosion caused an extensive damage to the whole left wing of Empire Shopping Gallery. CIMB Bank, Serai, Starbucks Coffee and Coach outlet are badly damaged.

Probably around 6-7 fire engines arrived at the scene.

Ambulance are here too although there wasn’t any casualty, I heard.

The entrance to the basement car park. As you can see, it’s smoky after the fire are being put off.

A look on the left wing of Empire Shopping Gallery. Devastation.

CIMB, Tangs, Starbucks, Serai and Coach outlets effected.

The powerful force of the explosion literally pushes the car aside.

Residence and passers-by looking at the damage from afar.

This is the effected side of Empire Shopping Gallery.

The force is so powerful; the glass panel at the front door of Wisma Consplant is shattered. Yes, it’s right opposite of the explosion.

Nicole, a resident of Subang SOHO reported that she was awake and on the way to the washroom when she heard the loud explosion.  She quickly makes her way out from her unit taking the stairs. She’s without her wallet and mobile phone as she left everything behind. She was on the 5th floor.

According to another resident, Weed, who was on the 10th floor, was watching the UEFA Champions League when he heard the tremendous explosion. “I was watching the match when I heard and felt the explosion. I quickly hold my TV and said ‘whoa’”.

However, it was a different case for Ian, who was fast asleep on the 9th floor when he was rudely awakened by the loud blast.

Many hotel guests made their way out of the building safely. Some residents of Subang SOHO were still in their unit only to be woken by Firemen knocking on their door.

So far there’s no casualty except for an injured guard who managed to get out alive. There is no official announcement yet but there are speculations that it could be some gas leakage from the LG floor of the building. Some road users on Federal Highway reported that the P1 & P2 underground car parks have collapsed.

As of 7.30am just now, the building is still being sealed off. Nobody is allowed to enter the building. Guests from the hotel and residents from Subang SOHO are currently being relocated to Dorsett Hotel and Sunway Hotel.

UPDATED: 10.30pm, 28 September 2011

I went back to the scene a couple of hours later and this is what I gather there.

As usual, traffic starts to build up along Jalan Kemajuan. Traffic policemen are handling them well so far.

Maybank Wisma Consplant 2 will be closed for today. As you can see the shattered glass panel.

Inside of Wisma Consplant 2 is also effected. Glass panels are shattered all over.

Looks like the force of the explosion ricocheted to the right wing of the Mall. Sao Nam is quite badly damaged.

The interior is damaged quite badly too as you can see from the debris and ruins.

An angle from the entrance to the underground carpark.

Notice where all the vents are located, the coverings are all blown out.

Glass panels at the business building are shattered too.

For your info.

The is the aftermath of the explosion.

Operations are in order.

More shattered glass panel on this side of the building.

Can’t really tell what outlet is this.

This outlet is just beside Coach.

Bended metal beam from of window frame.

This VW GTi is a goner. Hope Daryl Chua’s insurance covers this.

Vehicles that belong to Daryl Chua and Hibbie Tan. The couple that got injured during the scene of accident.

Subang SOHO is effected too. Some window panels are shattered by the force of the explosion.

Shattered windows.

The Loaf is quite badly damaged too. But I think they’ll be back in business faster that the rest of the other side.

Check out the ceiling…how it is being blown apart. Could that be where the air vent is?

Many working people are unaware of the explosion. Many return to work but only to be sent back home.

It took quite long for the authority to clear the place. Perhaps more vents to check before people are allowed back into the building. I wonder why?

Some one tweeted asking if the pets in Petsmore store are okay. Now here, take a look.

A staff from Petsmore confirmed that all pets are rescued. Look at them cute faces :)

Here’s a snippet from TMI:

The two guards were initially trapped in the basement, but have since been rescued and sent to a hospital to treat their injuries. They were identified as K. Surendra Kris, 33, and Chrring Dawak Sepa, from Nepal.

The couple, sales executives Daryl Chua, 27, and his girlfriend Hibbie Tan, 23, were taken to hospital in an ambulance but have since been discharged.

Nearly the entire stretch of the front portion of the newly-built mall was blown out, damaging a number of cafes, restaurants and clothing stores including Tangs and Starbucks Coffee.

Chua told reporters that he was walking with his girlfriend to an parking payment station a few steps from Starbucks when the explosion occurred about 3.30am.

“We were at La Bodega earlier for dinner and then we were just hanging out outside my car and talking,” he said.

“Just as we were heading to the Autopay, there was a loud ‘boom’, like in the movies. I thought it was a bomb.”

Chua said he was “literally lifted off the ground” and thrown sideways several metres from the blast, lightly grazing both his arms.

The sound of breaking glass, falling debris and metal, and sirens broke the earlier silence, he said, leaving him in a momentary state of confusion and panic.

“And then the flames came up. It was all over, the entire front of the mall was razed. I thought I was going to die,” he said.

When the scene calmed slightly, Chua said he carried Tan, who had sprained her leg, to safety and noticed passers-by and nearby residents rushing to the scene.

His car, a black Volkswagen Golf GTI, was severely damaged.

 

Alrite, that’s all for now. When I left it was about noon. No official report announced yet although many mainstream media are reporting that a gas leakage that caused the explosion. Well, guess we won’t know until Hannah Yeoh makes an announcement.

UPDATED: 5.30pm, 28 September 2011
Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim visited the scene. He said the building has to be closed as firemen and police are still investigating the explosion. “After this, the building co-owners and engineers will inspect the area and decide whether it can be reopened to the public or not. “The government priority is public safety. The co-owners must guarantee that the building is safe to the public if reopened,” he told reporters after inspecting the scene in Subang Jaya.

Update: 6.00pm, 29 September 2011
A snippet from The Malaysian Insider:
A gas leak from a restaurant has been confirmed as the source for the Empire Shopping Gallery explosion yesterday, said the minister in charge. Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung told The Star that the Fire and Rescue Department has informed him of this development. Their forensics team is still on site and a preliminary report will be ready soon, he said after visiting the blast site at 4.30pm today. Earlier in Putrajaya, Chor said a preliminary report would be out tomorrow.

 

Timeline:

3.20am: I was watching UEFA Champions League where Manchester United up 2-0 against Basel in the first-half.

3.39am: The second-half just kicked-off and then suddenly… ‘BOOM!’ I heard a loud explosion and my whole house rattles.


3.40am:  I can be very sure that the incident happened at around 3.40 am this morning. I tweeted it immediately right after I heard the explosion.

3.45am: I called the SS17 police station and reported the loud explosion I heard. The police officer informed me that the knew about it and that they have an emergency.


3.59am: Tweeted Hannah Yeoh and asked her if she knew what’s going on. Guess she just found out about it then.

4.02am: I reached the out door car park (Chillout) of Subang Parade. I can see many people are gathering at the parking lot. Policemen are putting up barriers to prevent vehicles from going in.

4.05am: Spoke to two resident’s of SOHO and found out that there’s an explosion coming from the other side of Empire Shopping Gallery.

4.10am: More police cars and Fire Engines arrived.



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About Galvin Tan

A creative professional and social media junkie, Galvin Tan has been blogging since 2005 and he writes about everything from food to gadget. An avid fan of football and loves playing foosball and basketball. For latest updates, follow him @galvintan on Twitter.

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26 comments
carrietan
carrietan

heard that the serai restaurant causes the blast. the whole serai was just gone. not sure safe to dine there o not.

mcrapu
mcrapu

Even if it opens this weekend or next week, it will take a while before I make my next visit. Don't know whether the structure is safe or not. Will the building crumble?

eeeeeeee ... I hv that eery feeling just thinking about it.

Looks like it will just be Gardenia :(

htt
htt

Aww I was supposed to send my supplies to one of the outlets, now they tell me Empire Gallery will be closed for a month.. I was there on Monday morning taking stock records! Hmm business effected for a month.....anyway lucky no human life was taken!

Galvin Tan
Galvin Tan

Dear Bryan,

You cannot stop anybody from not doing any own speculation with an explosion of such magnitude.

I'm sorry to hear what had happened to Empire Shopping Gallery and we're thankful that there's no casualties.

However, here's a tip for you on social media...

It would have been better if you have stick with "Please refer to our press statement" and leave out "Please do not speculate".

Your action and the recent Twitter account creation only raised more eyebrows.

Galvin Tan
Galvin Tan

@mcrapu: No idea yet but I think it will take awhile before the place bounce back into business. It will be opened to tenants and shop operators first, I guess.

@uncleseng: Thank you.

@Fresh Garden: Yes...really fortunate. It's actually wee-hours in the morning...which is good. Nobody is around.

Galvin Tan
Galvin Tan

Thank you anonymous for correcting my grammar. Pretty hard to check everything when I'm publishing this story from my iPhone. Thanks :)

Fresh Garden
Fresh Garden

Oh my, it's horrible!

Fortunately, it happened during the non-peak hours.

mcrapu
mcrapu

Any idea when will the shopping complex be open? My kids love the breads from the loaf and it will be troublesome to drive all the way to the pavillion KL.

anonymous
anonymous

>Subang SOHO is effected too. Some window panels are shattered from the force of the explosion.

by the force. not from the force

Mizuage
Mizuage

I remember all of those puppies... I visit them so many times last week... I hope that they find good homes soon :) I especially like the one with the prominent face and furry paws in white :)

Thanks Galvin for letting everyone know that the doggies and cats are all good.

Galvin Tan
Galvin Tan

Dear readers, terribly sorry for the down time. Looks like I wasn't prepared for so many readers at such a short period of time. My blog exceeded it's allocated bandwidth hours ago but now has been increased.

Thank you for your word of encouragement and support. I will do my best in the future to share more first-hand account news with everyone.

Aud
Aud

Thanks for the updates! I only see the dogs and cats from the pet shop in the pictures, hope the rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs are safe and sound too when they said all animals were rescued. :(

Evie
Evie

Wow...great update and pictures...loved the last bit with the cute doggies in it. Glad they're safe and sound! :)

zion
zion

is that true that this building had not get it CF yet? there is one of the councilor , demand some amount of money from the building owner and give a green light behalf of the local govt for this building to operate.. well.. what an unfortunate for the workers, the outlet owners and .. haha.. I saw mahatir's The Loaf also effected.. there u go.. selangor boleh~

Galvin Tan
Galvin Tan

@Bookworm: The hotel did not suffer any damages but they evacuated the hotel for safety purpose. Guess your wedding can still proceed in December.

@inovasi: Most hotel guest are sent over to Dorsett Hotel or Sunway Hotel. I'm sure they are fine, don't worry too much.

@Lynn Dhia: Yes they did and I have took action against them. They kinda took the pictures down already.

@Elizabeth: The explosion and shaking is still giving me the chills.

@Mabel: Yes, thank goodness.

@Jojo: Yes I recalled that incident.

@Seaegde: Gosh... thank goodness it wasn't really that bad. No casualties and only minor injuries to some.

Trina Chua
Trina Chua

Thanks for the very detailed updates.

Seaedge
Seaedge

I worked in Wisma Consplant 1 for night shift, and i was going down from my office on the 9th floor. Once i reach down and exit the rear door, thats when the explosion occurred. When i reached there, i saw flames and Daryl and his girlfriend was sitting by the road side. Then i saw the aftermath of the explosion. It was terrible.

Jojo
Jojo

Reminds me of a gas explosion in Amcorp mall when it first opened too.. the explosion was from Kenny Rogers and my mom was working inside the mall at that time.

Mabel
Mabel

Oh dear! What a misfortune. Luckily still got Subang Parade for me to hang out before everything gets into place again in ESG.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Wow. My parents' apartment is just a few blocks away from Empire and I go there every Saturday to makan. Very surreal!

Lynn Dhia
Lynn Dhia

did nst just use your pic uncredited??

inovasi
inovasi

my sister and her husband are staying at Empire Hotel. they were awaken by the explosion and PA announcement. they are now on a bus to dont know where yet, and all their stuff still in the room. lucky they have their passports with them. authorities not letting anyone in or out, so we cant even go pick them up.

Bookworm
Bookworm

Argh! Couldn't get hold of the hotel staff! Gosh! Our wedding dinner at their ballroom this December!!! *panicking*

1Earth
1Earth

Thanks for taking the time to eke out this news report so early in the morning - this won't be in any of Malaysia's printed media until tomorrow, by when it will be old news already.

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  5. [...] early morning blast from Empire Shopping Gallery effected many businesses and injured a few people. Thankfully there are no casualties. However, one [...]

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  7. [...] is from Galvin Tan’s blog. Read more about the explosion from the person who was there. Four people were injured while more than 300 people rescued and evacuated when an explosion [...]

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