Wednesday 18 January 2017

Chef (23) whose face was burned when oven exploded in restaurant settles €60k claim

Ray Managh

Published 16/11/2016 | 15:59

The New Maharajah Restaurant on Clontarf Road Credit: Google Maps
The New Maharajah Restaurant on Clontarf Road Credit: Google Maps

A 23-year-old chef, whose face was burned when a gas oven exploded in an Indian restaurant in Dublin, has settled a €60,000 damages claim for an undisclosed figure in the Circuit Civil Court.

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Judge Sarah Berkeley heard that Santosh Dhakal suffered flash burns to his face, neck, ears, lips, the inside of his nose and his hair and eyebrows when the incident happened in August 2013.

Dhakal, of The Richmond, North Brunswick Street, Dublin, told his barrister Kieran O’Callaghan that he was attempting to light the oven with a spark lighter when there was an explosion.

Mr O’Callaghan, who appeared with Louise Ring of Sinnott Solicitors, told the court that the blast cracked a plate glass window in The New Maharajah Restaurant on Clontarf Road, Dublin 3.

Dhakal said he had been working part time, while studying at a Dublin College, and on August 13, 2013 had gone into work at the restaurant where he had carried out some cleaning duties.

He had then washed lava plates in the oven.  Later the restaurant chef, after having difficulty lighting the oven, had directed him to do it and he had clicked several times on the spark lighter.

He said there was a loud explosion and he had been thrown backwards and briefly knocked semi-conscious.  He suffered painful burns to his face.

Dhakal, who sued T&S Ethnic Restaurant Limited, with a registered address at Swiftbrook Avenue, Tallaght, said the restaurant had to close down for the remainder of the day.

He had called his boss who had taken him to Fairview Clinic where cream was applied to his face before he had been taken to the Mater Hospital where he received further treatment.  He said it had been several months before he could return to work, but not in the same restaurant.

A forensic engineer who gave evidence on behalf of Mr Dhakal told the court the original oven had been decommissioned and disposed of but he had examined a similar oven on the premises.

He believed gas may have accumulated, due to lack of ignition, low down in the oven and exploded when Mr Dhakal clicked several times on the electric spark lighter.

Mr O’Callaghan told the court, following an adjournment, that the case had been settled and could be struck out with an order for the plaintiff’s costs.

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