Man badly burnt jump-starting car

Last updated 18:01 24/09/2012

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A Whakapapa skifield employee received acid burns to his eyes and hands when the battery of a snow cat exploded in his face.

The 24-year-old man was attempting to jump-start the vehicle on Mt Ruapehu this morning when its battery exploded, flinging acid onto his face and hands.

He was treated at the scene by members of the ski field’s own safety service, and was then flown by rescue helicopter to Rotorua Hospital for further treatment.

A spokeswoman for Rotorua Hospital said he had been discharged this afternoon.

Greenlea Rescue Helicopter duty pilot Art Kowalski said the man had had a lucky escape.

"He had burns to his hands, and it got in his face as well. They weren’t terrible burns, but obviously his eyes were quite irritated, quite scratchy.

"It could have been much worse.’’

Mr Kowalski understood that the man had connected the battery incorrectly.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts general manager Dave Mazey said it was not yet known what had caused the battery to explode.

‘‘That will come out of an investigation that could have been started as early as this afternoon.’’

He did not know whether the man would be back at work tomorrow.

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- Stuff

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