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The Danger of Portable Gas Stoves

The Danger of Portable Gas Stoves

Submitted By: 23 April 2009 12 Comments

new_stove

new_stove

WARNING! Before you scroll down I want to let you know that the pictures below are pretty intense. If you have a weak stomach or if you’re easily grossed out then this is your chance to navigate away from this page and visit a less graphic posting on tune-in-tokyo’s website – try the cherry blossom post.

Now that I’ve warned you about the pictures I’m going to warn you about something else that will hopefully help you, or someone you know, avoid going through the same trauma that my wife, Kaori, and her family went through.

new_stoveIt was Kaori’s last day with her family in Vancouver, Canada before going back to Japan. And like many Japanese celebrations this one involved food… lots of food.

Yakiniku it was – so out came the meat and veggies and we fired up the portable gas stove that we see used in many restaurants and households in Korean and Japanese influenced parts of the world.

Just as we had done hundreds of times before for yakiniku, sukiyaki, shyabu shyabu or nabe parties – we all gathered around and cooked our food on the gas stove which was placed in the center of the table. The marinated meat and tons of little side dishes, Kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage), Chapchae (stir fried noodles) and Namul (seasoned spinach), that we bought from the local Korean market were delicious.

After cooking for a while the house started to get a little smokey so we opened the windows. The cool breeze felt great and the smoke quickly cleared.

We were just about to wrap things up. The kids had already eaten and they were playing with their Transformers on the other side of the room. The adults were grilling the last of the meat, drinking a couple beers and chit chatting… and that’s when it happened.

A flash of orange followed by a deafening bang! The butane canister inside to the portable gas stove had exploded. One side of the table… the side where Kaori, her mom and sister were sitting, was engulfed in flames. Before they could react a monstrous fireball of burning gas wrapped around them and tumbled towards the ceiling and out the window. After the initial explosion, the gas from the canister which covered the girls was still burning. They were on fire. We were all in shock… then came the panic and screaming…then crying. The smell of burnt skin and hair was overwhelming.

Kaori’s father Sako made sure the kids were OK… then we got wet towels to cool the burns. We called 911 and, after what seemed like an eternity, the ambulance and fire trucks arrived. The three girls were rushed to the hospital and treated for severe burns.

Below are photographs taken of Kaori shortly after the incident.

kaori_front

As you can see her entire body was charred. I can’t even imagine how much pain she went through both physically and emotionally.

kaori_face

One side of her face was burned but her eyes weren’t – luckily she still has full vision.

burn victim

This pictures was taken before the skin peeled. She has severe scars on both of her hands and back. Going to the beach and sunbathing is no longer an option. If she goes in the sun for even a short period of time she must wear the strongest protection, SPF-85 sunblock. Her skin is scarred badly and any sunlight will just make the scarring worse.

kaori_back

The flames wrapped around her body and burned her back and shoulders. She was wearing a tank top at the time of the accident so that didn’t help. Can you imagine what it was like to take a shower after being burned like this? Looking at these pictures brings back horrible memories.

faulty stove

Here’s a picture of the actual portable gas stove that exploded. The insurance company determined that the stove was faulty – the gas canister was too close to the flame causing it to become hot and explode. Both the manufacturer of the stove and the Canadian distributor, which were both based in Korea, were nowhere to be found.

Needless to say we will not go to a restaurant that uses any type of portable gas stove. Our family and all of our friends have thrown away their butane stoves and we now use a safe electric grill instead.

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  • KH RHEE

    DEAR KAORI,

    LET ME INTRODUCE MYSELF. I AM DOING BUSINESS FOR PORTABLE GAS STOVE
    & BUTANE GAS CARTRIDGE IN KOREA.

    I SAW & READ ABOVE PHOTOS AND ARTICLE AND FEEL VERY SORRY ABOUT
    ACCIDENT. TO HELP MS. KAORI,

    I WOULD LIKE TO CHECK AND FIND WAY TO SOLVE THIS ACCIDEN.
    KOREAN FACTORY FOR PORTABLE GAS STOVE & BUTANE GAS CARTRIDGE HAVE
    PLI (PRODUCTS LIABLITY INSURANCE) AND IF ACCDIENT OCCURE FROM
    PRODUCTS, PLI WILL COVER DAMAGES. I WILL FILD IF MS. KAORI OR
    HER FAMILY CAN COOPERATE AS BELOWS

    1. COULD YOU SEND US PHOTOS OF STOVE (REAL PANEL) ?
    2. COULD YOU SEND US PHOTO OF GAS CARTRIDGE ?
    3. COULD YOU CHECK CSA NUMBER (CANADIAN SAFETY APPROVAL) ON STOVE
    AND ADVISE US ?

    IF YOU SEND US DETAILED PHOTOS AND RELATED NUMBER, WE CAN TRACE
    WHO IS MANUFATURER & IMPORTER AS WELL.

    ONCE AGAIN I AM VERY SORRY FOR THIS ACCIDENT AND PLS ADVISE US
    ABOVE SO I CAN CHECK AND HELP.

    BEST REGARDS+
    KH RHEE

  • KH RHEE

    DEAR KAORI,

    LET ME INTRODUCE MYSELF. I AM DOING BUSINESS FOR PORTABLE GAS STOVE
    & BUTANE GAS CARTRIDGE IN KOREA.

    I SAW & READ ABOVE PHOTOS AND ARTICLE AND FEEL VERY SORRY ABOUT
    ACCIDENT. TO HELP MS. KAORI,

    I WOULD LIKE TO CHECK AND FIND WAY TO SOLVE THIS ACCIDEN.
    KOREAN FACTORY FOR PORTABLE GAS STOVE & BUTANE GAS CARTRIDGE HAVE
    PLI (PRODUCTS LIABLITY INSURANCE) AND IF ACCDIENT OCCURE FROM
    PRODUCTS, PLI WILL COVER DAMAGES. I WILL FILD IF MS. KAORI OR
    HER FAMILY CAN COOPERATE AS BELOWS

    1. COULD YOU SEND US PHOTOS OF STOVE (REAL PANEL) ?
    2. COULD YOU SEND US PHOTO OF GAS CARTRIDGE ?
    3. COULD YOU CHECK CSA NUMBER (CANADIAN SAFETY APPROVAL) ON STOVE
    AND ADVISE US ?

    IF YOU SEND US DETAILED PHOTOS AND RELATED NUMBER, WE CAN TRACE
    WHO IS MANUFATURER & IMPORTER AS WELL.

    ONCE AGAIN I AM VERY SORRY FOR THIS ACCIDENT AND PLS ADVISE US
    ABOVE SO I CAN CHECK AND HELP.

    BEST REGARDS+
    KH RHEE

  • http://tune-in-tokyo.com/ Billy

    Thank you for the message. If you would like to discuss this matter then please contact us personally at: blog [at] tune-in-tokyo [dot] com

    Best Regards,
    Billy & Kaori

  • http://tune-in-tokyo.com Billy

    Thank you for the message. If you would like to discuss this matter then please contact us personally at: blog [at] tune-in-tokyo [dot] com

    Best Regards,
    Billy & Kaori

  • KGia

    In this picture http://bionicbong.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/stove.jpg is not clear what caused to prove, the butane gas canister is supposed to be shown for the readers to understand more otherwise this can be a fake story.

    Can it be the cooker’s mistake while cooking with oil and the meat oil catch fire then pour or drop leak into canister compartement that caused over heated explosion ?

    What ever the cause is with the burn injury victims, I feel very sorry for that.

  • KGia

    In this picture http://bionicbong.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/stove.jpg is not clear what caused to prove, the butane gas canister is supposed to be shown for the readers to understand more otherwise this can be a fake story.

    Can it be the cooker’s mistake while cooking with oil and the meat oil catch fire then pour or drop leak into canister compartement that caused over heated explosion ?

    What ever the cause is with the burn injury victims, I feel very sorry for that.

  • http://www.easterngases.co.uk/ 47kg propane

    portable gas stove is normally used to identify the camping stoves. While these would be offered with a individual burner, they might also be purchased with two or more burners. One of the larger portable gas stoves may also be big enough to be towed behind your car or truck

  • http://www.easterngases.co.uk/ 47kg propane

    portable gas stove is normally used to identify the camping stoves. While these would be offered with a individual burner, they might also be purchased with two or more burners. One of the larger portable gas stoves may also be big enough to be towed behind your car or truck

  • http://www.bes.co.uk plumbing supplies

    All gas stoves must be handled with care and precision to prevent harm and accidents. We must remind ourselves that even the safest thing might not be safe if not used correct.

  • http://www.loweringenergycosts.com/ helping the environment

    What ever the cause is with the burn injury victims, I feel very sorry for that.

  • http://www.bes.co.uk/ plumbing

    This is credible. I think the portable gas stove that they bought is not a quality stove and defective that’s why that accident is happened.

  • http://www.best-hostings.in/ Best web hosting

    Thanks for this helpful information and after looking these pictures i am feeling so sad for her.