This one sounds like the beginning of a bad bar joke, but it did happen in real life all the same. So many questions come to mind. Did no one explain to the patient that you can’t smoke in a high-pressure oxygen chamber? Didn’t he himself suspect that this might not be a good idea? Why did he have cigarettes in there in the first place? And on it goes.
Well, whatever questions we may have, what’s done is done. Liu Hung was put inside a hyperbaric chamber — a high-pressure oxygen chamber — at the Nanxiong People’s Hospital in Nanxiong city in south-eastern China’s Guangdong province to help his head wound heal more quickly. It is believed that, even though the doors of the chamber were closed, the patient saw the opportunity to grab a quick cigarette, presumably acting on the belief that nobody would see him.
The cigarette is believed to have then set fire to the bed linen, which quickly spread once it reacted with the oxygen-rich atmosphere inside the small chamber. The reaction then caused an explosion which destroyed the chamber, as you can see below, and killed Mr. Hung in the fireball.
The health and safety experts who, along with the firemen, investigated the incident, said that the victim’s body had been completely charred and that they had found a melted lighter, which they thought had caused the explosion.
Mr. Hung’s family are now demanding to know why the patient’s lighter wasn’t taken away (one of my questions at the beginning). His son said:
My father’s whole body was scorched, he looked just like a roasted pig. It was the worst thing I have ever seen and was absolutely unbearable.
The hospital has reportedly admitted responsibility in not warning the patient that smoking or taking a lighter into the chamber could be dangerous and are negotiating with his family over compensation. Hospital spokesman Yong Wan said:
Mr Liu had already undergone one treatment which had worked well.
We assume he had probably decided that during the second treatment he would try to sneak a cigarette where he couldn’t be seen, as smoking in the hospital was not allowed.
Such a tragic story, yet it is so incredible that it happened in the first place.
1. The remains of the high-pressure hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which was destroyed when Liu Hung decided to smoke a cigarette while receiving treatment inside.
2. It is thought the cigarette set fire to the bed linen, which quickly turned into an inferno when it reacted with the oxygen rich atmosphere inside the small chamber.
3. The dead man’s son, pictured, is now demanding to know why the hospital didn’t take his father’s lighter away.
4. Mr. Hung was undergoing treatment at the Nanxiong People’s Hospital, pictured, in Guangdong province for a head wound.
Via The Daily Mail.
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