Man burnt after his gas bottle exploded at Myall River Camp, Myall Lakes

ABOUT 8.35am, on Wednesday, 15 April, 2015, a 66 year old male from the Nelson Bay area was camping in the Myall River Camp at Hawks Nest.

Leon Katz
Leon Katz

He was attempting to decant LP gas from one bottle to another when an explosion occurred.

A female who was in the annexe of the caravan had been blown approximately 3 metres but was uninjured.

The 66 year old male suffered serious burns. Quick thinking of fellow campers and Officers from the NSW Fire Rescue have sat the male in the nearby Myall River to cool his burns.

He was subsequently airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital by Westpac helicopter suffering burns to his face, oesophagus, arms, chest, torso, hips and legs. His trousers had been melted to his legs and will have to be surgically removed.

At the time of his evacuation, he was conscious and able to speak to police.

Police were advised by treating paramedics that he was in a stable condition, however with the extent of the burns together with an underlying issue of diabetes and heart disease it was considered best practice to air lift him to a specialist burns hospital.

Upon, inspection of both gas bottles, they were each found to be out of date.

LPG gas bottles are date stamped and are required to be inspected every 10 years.
1) 4.3kg gas bottle was last inspected in July, 2002 (almost 3 years out of date).
2) 4.5kg gas bottle was last inspected September, 1994 almost 11 years out of date).
It is a timely reminder to adhere to safety regulations and not to use gas bottles more than ten years old unless they have been checked and stamped that they are safe for use.
Local plumber and Fire Services member Leon Katz was camped some 30 metres from the site where the explosion took place and gave this account of the incident.
“I was cooking breakfast when I glanced across towards a caravan and noticed an amount of smoke near the annexe. I thought that someone had just doused a fire.”
Mr Katz said, “Within 2 minutes there was a huge woosh of air and a fire ball came from the annexe I saw what looked like a flame thrower shooting flame around the annexe.”
“Fearing the worst, I ran to the caravan as other campers ran with their fire extinguishers to put out the fire in the annexe. I found a male badly burnt with his shorts melted onto his upper legs and severe burns,” he told Myall Coast News.
“I immediately rang 000 and gave them the details of the fire. They advised to get the male into water to cool the skin.”
“We [Mr Katz and other campers] got the man, and had him immersed in the water, I then returned to the site and removed other gas cylinders and a tank of petrol which had luckily not exploded.”
“Police, Rural Fire Services, Ambulance and my crew from Tea Gardens Fire and Rescue attended and took over the situation,” he said.
“The man was very lucky so many quick thinking people pitched in to help him at this time of emergency.”

Earlier:

At 8am, Wednesday (15 April) a 66 year old male from the Nelson Bay area was camping in the Myall River Camp at Hawks Nest.  He was attemptnig to decant LP gas from one bottle to another when an explosion has occured.gas bottle safety

A female who in the annexe of the caravan has been blown approximately 3 metres but was uninjured.

The 66 year old male suffered serious burns. Quick thinking of fellow campers and Officers from the NSW Fire Rescue have sat the male in the near by Myall River to cool his burns.

He was subsequently airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital by Westpac helicopter suffering burns to his face, oesophagus, arms, chest, torso, hips and legs.

His trousers had been melted to his legs and will have to be surgically removed.

At the time of his evacuation, he was conscious and able to speak to police.

Police were advised by treating paramedics that he was in a stable condition, however with the extent of the burns together with an underlying issue of diabetes and heart disease it was considered best practice to air lift him to a specialist burns hospital.

Upon, inspection of both gas bottles, they were each found to be out of date. LPG gas bottles are date stamped and are required to be inspected every 10 years.

1)  4.3kg gas bottle was last inspected in July, 2002  (almost 3 years out of date)
2)  4.5kg gas bottle was last inspected September, 1994 almost 11 years out of date)

It is a timely reminder to adhere to safety regulations and not to use gas bottles more than ten years old unless they have been checked and stamped that they are safe for use.

3 thoughts on “Man burnt after his gas bottle exploded at Myall River Camp, Myall Lakes

  1. Your comment … “It is a timely reminder to adhere to safety regulations and not to use gas bottles more than ten years old unless they have been checked and stamped that they are safe for use.” is absolutely NOT correct!

    The date stamp indicates a date beyond which it is not legal to refill without a new inspection and restamping! It is legal to use the gas contained in the cylinder until it is expended beyond the date stamped.

  2. A stupid article. The bottle didnt explode , the escaping gas ignited.
    If the bottle exploded he would be dead.

    Also a 10 year inspection means a bottle is safe to FILL not necessarily safe to use. A very stupid thing to do and why would you want to decant between two similar capacity bottles.

    He deserves all he got.

  3. Good to see some sympathy exhibited here. I just hope that Grahame Hill never suffers an injury no matter how caused.

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