Melbourne: An explosion triggered by a suspected arson attack ripped apart an Indian restaurant in Sydney, prompting police to investigate the possible links of the incident to a bomb threat.
The Indian restaurant in Sydney was last night engulfed by fire, which police suspect was 'deliberately lit' and four people escaped unhurt in the incident. Police is investigating the possibility of links to a bomb threat at the Copper Tiffin restaurant on Cleveland Street, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
An unnamed nearby restaurant owner said he had heard a "loud explosion, like bomb" just after 11:30 pm. The explosion threw out debris and caused glass and signs to cover the road.
"Then I see people climbing out of a window, about four, (it was) very lucky," he said.
Two people were seen running away from the site just after 11.30 pm as fire engulfed the building, witnesses told the police.
Shortly thereafter, an explosion was heard and a witness said the front of the shop was missing. Police reportedly said the blaze was 'deliberately lit' and that they were hunting for two men who were seen running away from the scene.
The explosion damaged property but four people at a residential property above the restaurant escaped unhurt, with only one needing hospital treatment for smoke inhalation.
A spokesman for NSW Fire Brigades said around 20 firies managed to bring the blaze under control just after midnight and it was prevented from spreading to neighbouring properties.
The exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, the report said.
The witness also said that police had been at the same site "about two weeks ago" and cleared out several restaurants along the Cleveland St strip, possibly related to a bomb threat.