PMB man severely burnt as car goes up in flames

2010-04-15 00:00

A CAR explosion landed a Bombay Road man in Northdale Hospital with severe burns on Tuesday evening.

Pravesh Singh (53) had parked his VW Golf inside his home garage on Tuesday afternoon and remained inside listening to music.

Netcare 911 spokesman Jeff Wicks said Singh suffered severe burns to his arms, neck, back and face when his car exploded with him still inside.

Singh’s son, Manit, said he was chatting with the tenant of their back room while his wife and mother were watching TV just after 7 pm.

From the time of his arrival from work at about 5.30 pm, his father sat in the car in the garage listening to music.

“As I was chatting with the tenant we could smell gas, but we thought it was from one of the neighbours. After some time we heard a huge explosion, followed by my father’s screams,” he said.

As Singh rushed to the garage, he saw the car engulfed in flames, and the reality of what was happening struck.

“I grabbed a blanket and covered my dad, who was in flames, and made him lie on the lawn. It all happened so fast, but I managed to connect the hose pipe and put the flames out.

“What or how the fire started, only my father knows and at this stage he is in pain, so we will have to wait until he gets better. When we visited him his face was swollen and he is in a bad shape,” said Singh.

Minutes later, the firefighters arrived and removed the still-leaking gas cylinder from the burnt out car, and called the ambulance.

Singh said they use the cylinder when they go out fishing, but it is not known why it was in the car. He was also lucky that his own car did not catch alight as it was parked alongside his father’s burning Golf.

A fire expert said it takes a lot of heat for a gas cylinder to explode, and that it ruptures when it explodes. “If the cylinder is still intact, then the explosion of the car was a result of gas inside the car. The fire could have only been ignited by lighting either a match or a cigarette lighter. These cylinders are very strong and they don’t just explode,” said the expert.

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