Australian camper badly burned in gas bottle explosion

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A state safety watchdog warns a common camping cooking appliance could become a “bomb”.

It has issued the warning ahead of the Easter long weekend when thousands of Australians could be exposed to the appliances at holiday spots.

Earlier this month, a Queensland man was badly burned on 25 per cent of his body when a gas explosion shattered his van.

Resources Safety and Health Queensland gas inspector Paul Beaumont said people could easily find themselves in the same situation.

“You might think this wouldn’t happen to you, but when people go camping and there’s wet weather, they often end up using their barbecue and gas appliances in the back of their vehicles and that’s just a recipe for disaster,” Mr Beaumont said.

The Queensland man, in his 40s from Mount Tamborine, was injured after using a portable gas appliance in the back of his van.

He walked away from the device without realising it was leaking gas, and when he returned, it exploded.

Users need to operate portable gas appliances in well-ventilated outdoor areas and make sure cylinders are secure and connected correctly.

A Resources Safety and Health Queensland investigation found the appliance that exploded was faulty.

Holiday-makers can mix dish soap with water in a spray bottle and apply it to the connection: If it bubbles, there is likely a gas leak.

“The best thing to do then is turn off the gas and tighten the connection. If it still leaks, contact a gas fitter to check the connections,” Mr Beaumont said.

“Hoses dry out and become brittle over time which can lead to cracks and gas leaks.

“You can also now get LP gas cylinders with new valves which have an in-built safety function that won’t allow the gas to flow unless the connection has been properly made.

“It’s a small cost that can save you a lot of heartache and prevent injury.”