Retford: Lack of oven maintenance by takeaway owner caused gas explosion

A gas explosion at a Retford takeaway, which left an employee injured, was the result of a lack of maintenance carried out on the oven.
Retford Express, RetfordRetford Express, Retford
Retford Express, Retford

Ali Birok, 42, appeared at Worksop Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to four charges which included failing to ensure any gas appliance was maintained in a safe condition.

The lack of maintenance to the gas oven at Retford Express in Coronation Street, Retford, resulted in an explosion on 17th February 2012 and employee, Sarvet Soyturk, being left with physical and psycological injuries including burns to the face and arms.

There was minor damage to the shop including the frontage of the shop being blown out of position and glass in the shop front cracked.

Peter Burns, prosecuting for Bassetlaw Council, told the court, that Birok was following instructions he had been given by the Food Business Operator which was to light the pilot light with a manual flame lighter.

Defending, Ali Has, told the court that when Birok took over the business the fixtures and fittings came with the business including the oven.

Mr Has said: “When he took over the premises he was told that the only way to operate the oven was with the manual lighter.”

“He understands it could have been a lot worse and he knows he could have prevented this in hindsight.”

“The offences were not financially motivated and were not deliberate.”

“They were as a result of a lack of knowledge and information about the regulations he had to comply with.”

The case was adjourned until 16th January.

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