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9:46am Friday 27th July 2012 in Andover
AN explosion took place in a van parked in a Charlton residential road.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to Dacre Close at 7.20am last Thursday. (26 July) When firefighters arrived, there was no fire but an explosion had taken place in a van owned by oven cleaning company Ovenu. A butane bottle, used to heat a process tank, had seeped its contents into the back of the van and as the Ovenu engineer ignited the burner for the tank, the gas exploded. One crew from Andover attended and used a hose reel to dampen down the area. Firefighters also made the scene safe by removing the gas bottle. The engineer was taken to hospital by ambulance, suffering burns that were not thought to be serious according to the fire service.
Clyde Evans, of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service community safety team, said: "People should ensure any gas cylinder valve is fully turned off and regulators are fully disconnected when they are not being used. Connecting hoses should also be checked to ensure they are in good condition and not damaged. "Gas bottles should also be kept out of the sun and away from high temperatures and always try to change cylinders in the open air if you can, otherwise open doors and windows to provide good ventilation."
Rik Hellewell, managing director of Ovenu, said: "I am really pleased that our franchisee sustained only minor injuries. This kind of accident is extremely rare for us and it is only the second time I have known anything like this happen in 18 years of business. "We have tanks in the back of our vans that are used for cleaning oven parts. The burner for these is powered by butane for safety reasons, connecting hoses are steel-braided and the regulators are easily detachable.
"The gas bottle is connected to the tank by a 'push click' mechanism which means the valve should seal once it is disconnected. However, in this case, the valve appears not to have sealed fully when it was disconnected and gas has seeped into the back of the vehicle. "In light of this, I would also urge people to make sure regulators are properly disconnected and that gas cylinders are kept out of the sun and away from heat. This message is extremely relevant at this time of year when people are caravanning and having barbecues.”