Chief Minister Salai Lian Luai said in his address at the site of a shop gutted yesterday by fire from gas explosions that all outlets selling cooking gases and petrol (diesel) would be located in places away from where people lived - a restriction that the previous authorities had placed but not implemented properly.
The newly appointed Chin leader, an elected MP of the National League for Democracy, gave a clear indication following the blaze that had started from a private shop selling cooking gas in front of the previous parliament building of the State government.
"Cooking gas can burst violently like an explosive device. I wonder why the previous State government allowed this shop to sell cooking gas in front of their office building for such a long time," added Salai Lian Luai.
Around 4pm in the busy ward of Chin Oo Si in the capital, the fire burnt to the ground the two-storey shop, known as Gaspa, and another house where Cung Bik, secretary of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, and his family live.
Two sales assistants working at the shop, owned by Biak Nuam Cer, a businesswoman originally from Ramthlo of Falam Township, were taken to the Hakha General Hospital soon after the blaze.
Peng Hnin, a neighbour who eye-witnessed the incident, told the Hakha Post: "Soon after we knew that the house was on fire, there were a series of gas explosions. Luckily, we were not directly affected."
Five motorcycles parked near the shop were also destroyed, according to Hakha media.#