Gas explosion destroys kitchen, injures woman

Last updated 17:30 17/05/2014

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A flying saucepan destroyed a kitchen and left a woman with minor burns to her face when a gas canister exploded in Arataki, near Tauranga today.

The force of the blast smashed the stovetop and nearby windows while the saucepan became lodged in the ceiling.

Fire fighters said the explosion was caused by a portable camping stove that wasn't properly turned off.

The woman had been using it to try and boil water for a cup of coffee because her power was out temporarily.

But when the power turned back on it resulted in a double ignition from gas that had escaped from the butane canister and leaked to the stovetop, Mount Maunganui station officer Lindsay Nichol said.

He said the woman inadvertently left an element of the portable stove switched on, which led to "quite a bit of force" when it exploded.

"The gas canister itself went through the stove top and the pot was embedded in the ceiling."

Window frames throughout the house were also "blasted out and twisted" by the explosion about 10.30am.

The woman - who had been standing 3m away from the stove at the time - was treated by St John paramedics for minor burns and shock.

Nichol said it was extremely fortunate her injuries weren't worse.

"She's a lucky person. She had her back turned at the time of the explosion. But it's still managed to singe her face."

The house is expected to be assessed for structural damage.

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