SHILLONG, July 20 � Seven persons were injured, two critically, after two cooking gas cylinders burst, within a span of thirty minutes, at two different restaurant kitchens here this afternoon.
The cooking gas at Banana Leaf restaurant, opposite St Edmund�s College, exploded at about 2.15 pm. Another explosion followed at Madras Caf� at Police Bazar half an hour later.
Fire tenders rushed to the explosion sites and doused the fire. Interestingly, both the restaurants belong to the same owner � Raja Rathnam � and are located at least five kilometres apart.
Immediately after the explosion the traffic came to a standstill with long queues of vehicles stranded throughout the city streets.
The explosions initially caused apprehensions as only few days back, the Garo National Liberation Army had threatened to carry out bomb blast in the State if counter-insurgency operations against the outfit are not halted.
Not taking any chances, the police rushed bomb disposal squads to the sites and carryied out forensic tests.
Superintendent of Police, AR Mawthoh, however, ruled out the involvement of the GNLA and asked the public not to be overly worried. �The explosions happened due to cylinder leakages as per preliminary investigations,� Mawthoh said adding, investigation is on and things would be clearer soon. Meanwhile, all the injured have been shifted to a city hospital where they are recuperating.