Campervan gas explosion causes serious burns

Energy type: 
LPG
 
Event summary: 
Energy Safety was notified of a gas explosion in a camper van by the New Zealand Fire Service.
The Fire Service reported that the victim was seriously burnt and very ill in hospital.
The camper van suffered severe damage to both sides of the camper area due to the explosion.
 
Accident ID: 
170215-01
 
Accident date: 
11 February 2017
 
Site: 
Commercial
 
Environment: 
Caravan/mobile home
 
Voltage: 
1
 
Equipment: 
Flexible hose assembly
 
Accident type: 
Fire and explosion
 
Casualty: 
Non-fatality
 
Injury: 
Burn
 
Property damage level: 
Extended to the room and structure containing the equipment
 
Outcome of investigation: 

A gas explosion caused severe damage to both sides of the campervan.

It appeared the owner was cooking at the stove of the campervan at the time of the fire. The owner suffered major burns to parts of his body and received hospital treatment.

The owner admitted that he removed the old fridge and disconnected the gas pipe. He had a friend helping him but the friend didn't do any gasfitting.

Following the fridge disconnection, a new fridge was put into place and left for the next week when a gasfitter was booked to install the new fridge.

Overnight the owner cooked in the campervan using the gas and told Energy Safety that he forgot the fridge was disconnected.

Energy Safety believes the source of ignition was the hob burner and the source of the gas was from the uncapped pipe behind the fridge.

This report recommends a prosecution be considered.