Sniffed lighter gas, lit up smoke - ended up in hospitalA man at the end of his 20s was seriously injured in an explosion-like fire in Sandnessjøen Tuesday evening. The man was sniffing gas in the lavatory, and then had a cigarette.
By: Marit Almendingen marit.almendingen[AT]helgeland-arbeiderb
The man was in the lavatory of the public transportation waitingroom next to the Narvesen newsstand when the fire erupted. He got himself out of the room, but had such serious burns in the face, the arm and one leg that he immediately was sent to the hospital Sandnessjøen. From there the man was transferred to the national burns unit at Haukeland Hospital in Bergen.
- We do not wish to say anything about the cause of the fire. We are investigating the matter in the normal way, says operational leader Knut Tverå at Helgeland Police District. The police has however been given access to pctures from surveillance-cameras, which show the man sniffing, before lighting a cigarette.
The fire was reported shortly before 10 Tuesday evening. There were no other persons present when the fire started. But a customer in the newsstand nextdoor helped put out the fire.
Morten Guttormsen of Idamar Eiendom, which owns the building, says the man had ignited lighter gas which exploded.
- The door was blow off the hinges byu the explosion, he said. Guttormsen expects it won't take long before the waitingroom is available for the public again.
- We will keep the waitingroom open for when the people at the islands come in for Christmas-shopping, he said, and added that it can be expensive to run a waitingroom, but it is something they are happy to do.
- The damage is fairly extensive. We need to get the room cleaned up, and the ceiling-plates are also destroyed, says Guttormsen.
And here's a follow-up, from online newspaper TV2 Nettavisen:
Exploded in the lavatoryBy Kjetil Mæland 19.11.04 13:21, updated 19.11.04 13:37
The sniffer locked himself in the lavatory and got high on lighter gas. Afterwards he lit himself a cigarette. Then things went bad.
Recordings from Narvesen's surveillance-cameras show how the door to the waitingroom for the ferries harboured in Sandnessjøen, is blow open by a fireball. Then the 29 years old man comes running out, struggling to put out the flames in his clothes.
It was at 9:30 Tuesday evening that the man locked himself in the small lavatory of the waitingroom in Sandnessjøen in Nordland. The man had bought four bottles of Ronson lighter gas to get high on. In the 2 by 3 metres (6.5 by 10 feet) room, he switched off the ventilation to get maximum effect from the gas. After inhaling some of the gas, he lit a cigarette. The gas exploded and the force of the explosion was so strong that it blew open the door of the waiting-room itself.
- The entire room was brown with scorchmarks from the explosion. The ceiling-plates had been blown out and there was fire in the dustbin among other places. Next to the commode we found the package of tobacco on one side and the lighter on the other side. The gas-bottles were spread around the room, said Morten Guttormsen of Idamar Eiendom, which owns the building, to TV2 Nettavisen.
The man got burns in his face, his arm, and one leg. He was taken to Haukeland Hospital for treatment, writes Helgeland Arbeiderblad.
Following the explosion the waitingroom was closed for several days. It was not until Friday that it could be opened for the public again.