Methane Forces Closure of Brazil Shopping Mall

September 29, 2011

Officials have ordered one of Brazil’s biggest shopping malls to close due to risk of a methane gas explosion.

The Sao Paulo State Environmental Protection Agency says the gas is seeping from the landfill on which the Center Norte mall was built in the 1980s.

An agency statement posted Wednesday on its web site says the 331-store mall has been fined 2 million reals ($1.1 million) and ordered to shut down until it takes measures to stop the methane emissions.

The mall’s owners say their own inspections do not indicate the presence of methane.

Another mall that specializes in furniture and a supermarket built next to the mall also have been closed.

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