Former Royal Latin School pupil’s warning to campers after gas explosion

Image supplied by Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.''Damage to tent after camping gas canister explosion at Camp Bestival.
Image supplied by Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.''Damage to tent after camping gas canister explosion at Camp Bestival.
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A former Royal Latin School pupil has warned summer festival-goers to get rid of dangerous old-style camping gas canisters after narrowly escaping serious injury.

Felix Eve, a former Chackmore resident who works for Buckingham Design Associates, suffered burns to his hands, arms and legs after a friend’s camping gas canister exploded at the Camp Bestival event in Dorset on August 1.

He and his friend, former Thornton College pupil Georgina Chalmers, were hit by a fireball when one of the older pierceable gas canisters began to leak and was ignited by another nearby stove at the festival campsite near Lulworth Castle.

Mr Eve said: “I would advise anyone not to use gas canisters that aren’t resealable.

“They’re actually illegal now, but if anyone has still got one, just dispose of it because it’s not worth the risk.

“If you know anyone else who’s got one, tell them not to use it.”

Mr Eve was taken to hospital by ambulance, but Miss Chalmers had to be airlifted with 28 per cent burns.

Speaking from her bed in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, she said: “It’s been horrific, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

“If anyone has got one of those canisters just throw it away, it’s not worth it.”

A Camp Bestival spokesman said more safety notices and briefings had been put in place following the accident.

A spokesman for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, Steve Underhill, paid tribute to other campers who helped Mr Eve and Miss Chalmers.

He said: “As soon as the explosion occurred it alerted other campers.

“They came forward with extinguishers, with buckets and bottles of water and quickly put the fire out in the tent, but then applied cooling water to the casualties. Their actions were invaluable.”