SEVEN employees of the KFC restaurant in Old Harbour, St Catherine were yesterday admitted to hospital after they sustained injuries in a fire at the establishment.
Workers said some of their colleagues, who suffered from smoke inhalation, were taken for medical treatment.
Hugh Jones, KFC area manager, when contacted yesterday, confirmed that several workers were brought to hospital, but could not speak to the extent of their injuries.
Restaurants of Jamaica, operators of the KFC franchise, said in a statememt last night that the seven team members who were injured in the fire were being treated at Andrew's Memorial Hospital in Kingston.
Managing Director Mark Myers, who was at the hospital last night, said the workers have varying degrees of burns. "However, there were no critical injuries and thankfully, there were no fatalities as a result of the unfortunate incident," he said in a statement.
It was not clear up to last night how the fire started, but the police reported that about 3:00pm an alarm was raised after an explosion was heard at the back of the facility.
"Me hear the explosions and then all me could see was smoke coming from the building," said one woman, who claimed she was walking close the building when the incident occurred.
The incident, which caused chaos in the busy town, saw scores of workers running for safety. One worker, who asked not to be named, said at least three of her colleagues who have been hospitalised may have suffered serious burns.
"I was standing on the side of the road when I heard an explosion in the direction of the KFC restaurant," said Michael Robinson, a Kingston resident who was doing business in the St Catherine town at the time of the explosion and fire. His friend, Tja Jamey, said the power of the explosion forced open the front door of the KFC restaurant.
Jamey said minutes later he saw people running from the building.
"I saw what was happening and knew I had to do something to help, that was when I ran into the building grabbed two fire extinguishers and attempted to bring the blaze under control," Robinson told the Jamaica Observer.
Jamey, who followed closely behind, said he helped to get some of the workers from the smoke-filled building.
One firefighter said it took minutes to bring the blaze under control.
The KFC area manager said the incident forced the closure of the facility for the day. He could not say when the restaurant would be reopened.