AUSTRALIA: A man is reported to have died and another is critical in hospital following reports of a gas leak and explosion involving a refrigeration unit at a hotel in Victoria’s north.

According to reports in Victoria newspaper The Age the emergency services were called to a hotel in Rochester where two men had suffered facial burns and internal injuries while working on a refrigerator unit in the hotel’s cellar.

One died in hospital on Sunday night, while the other man was reported to be in a critical but stable condition.

Victoria Police have confirmed that the two men were in the cellar of the hotel in Moore Street when the explosion occurred just after 1.30pm.

Police say they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident together with WorkSafe and will prepare a report for the Coroner but an ambulance spokesman is quoted as telling The Age: ”Two men were shifting a refrigerator and there’s been an ammonia spill or leak from one of the pipes.’’

The Age further reports that it is believed something sparked the ignition “as the men were removing a motor from above a refrigeration unit, causing an explosion and flash fire.”