A MAN and young boy were injured when glass shattered over customers at a Chinese restaurant.

The pane, measuring about 5ft by 3ft, linked the first-floor balcony to the ceiling of Aroma, in Festival Leisure Park, Basildon.

Shards fell on seated customers and those serving themselves at the buffet counter. It is understood the man suffered cuts to his face and a boy, aged about six, was also injured.

Witness Darren Yewman, 28, of Carswell Gardens, Wickford, was just being seated at a table with his girlfriend, parents and baby son.

He said: “There was a bang like a bomb exploding, then the glass shattered into thousands of pieces all over the buffet counter and everyone who was getting their food.

“There was a child, I would say about six years-old, who was screaming, and I saw a man with cuts all over his face. It was really frightening.

“I’m just relieved our table was out of the way and no glass hit my baby.”

The restaurant was evacuated following the incident at about 5pm on Sunday, and an ambulance was called to treat the injured customers.

Raymond Chang, 50, restaurant manager, said: “We are still investigating what happened.

“We checked the CCTV footage and it looks like the glass just shattered. We don’t think anything was thrown at it. “I apologise to any customers who were injured, even though it was an accident.”

Barry Rowe, 47, projects manager for the Aroma chain, confirmed all the other panes of glass will now be taken down from the restaurant’s balcony.

He said: “Apparently we could have covered the remaining glass with a protective film, which would have made it bomb proof, but we’ve decided it isn’t worth the risk.

“If the glass is all gone, then this can’t happen again.”