HONG KONG: The Hong Kong Government has been severely criticised for failing to regulate the use of flammable refrigerants in air conditioning systems.
The criticism has come following an investigation by the Ombudsman's Office into an incident that occurred when an air conditioning unit that was being worked on at the time exploded, resulting in a fireball that riped through a crowded restaurant in Ma On Shan in 2013, injuring 21 people, one critically.
In a statement on the Hong Kong news network RTHK, Ombudsman Connie Lau said that she found it highly undesirable that there is no single government department overseeing the problem of flammable refrigerants.
She went on to say that due to a loophole in legislation, flammable refrigerants are not covered by regulations and should be classified as LPG and fall under EMSD legislation so the department has the legal rights to regulate the usage of refrigerants in air conditioners.
Despite the explosion two remaining air conditioners were said to be still operating with flammable refrigerants at the Ma On Shan restaurant.