Man burnt in Dannevirke explosion

A Dannevirke man was taken to Hutt Hospital with serious burns after an explosion powerful enough to lift the ceiling tore through his bedroom.

Tararua Detective Shane Brown said fire services were called to the Dagmar St house about 1pm yesterday after a buildup of gas from a number of LPG gas cylinders, the type generally used for camping, exploded in front of the 33-year-old man.

The force from the explosion blew the wardrobe door off its hinges, the window frame into the neighbour's yard, lifted the ceiling and disrupted roof tiles.

Police found four gas cylinders in his bedroom and more in another room of the house, but it was unclear what they were being used for.

The man's brother was also in the house at the time, and came running at the sound in time to see the injured man emerging from the bedroom on his way to the shower.

Together the pair used a garden hose to put out a fire around the bed in the room, just as fire services arrived.

The man suffered serious burns to his hands and face and was taken to Hutt Hospital by St John Ambulance staff.

Mr Brown said it was possible there had been a slow leak of the gas, or he had been using a canister for something prior to the explosion, which blew up after an ignition in the room.

The gas was the sort to stay low, rather than rise, so it was likely the man would have been able to smell a buildup of gas, he said.

A scene examination of the house was completed yesterday and police were investigating what the canisters were being used for.

Manawatu Standard