Eleven people were injured in an explosion in central Sofia on the evening of August 18, Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The blast is believed to have been caused by a gas bottle, with eye-witnesses reporting a strong smell of gas shortly after the explosion. The blast happened in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant on Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard, opposite the landmark Russian Church.
Two cars were damaged by detritus from the blast and one of the walls of the building was reported to have collapsed. The blast was strong enough to trigger alarms in nearby banks, eyewitnesses said.
Reports had said that the building was being evacuated, but Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova said later that there did not appear to be significant structural damage that would require the evacuation of the building.
Police had closed off the affected area and traffic was cut off on Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard and Rakovski Street.
(Photo: Lora Petrova)