Man airlifted to hospital after freak BBQ accident

Firies have issued a deadly warning to residents after a NSW man suffered serious burns while barbecuing a steak.

The 58-year-old was on the grill on the rear patio of his Berkeley Vale home on the state’s Central Coast just before 7pm on Monday night when he went to turn up the gas on his 9kg LPG bottle.

“We believe this injury occurred when the person barbecuing bent down to check the cylinder and there was some sort of equipment failure with the gas hose coming off the cylinder, which then allowed the gas to escape and ignite,” Inspector Steve Brown from Fire and Rescue NSW told Yahoo News Australia.

“Unfortunately because he was in that close proximity he suffered those burns.”

The barbecue in Berkeley Vale on the NSW Central Coast.
The 58-year-old-man was grilling a steak at around 7pm on Monday night in Berkeley Vale on the NSW Central Coast when the incident occurred. Source: Fire and Rescue NSW

Man suffered burns to face, chest and arms

Multiple fire crews, including the NSW Rural Fire Service, were called to the scene on Kingsford Smith Drive, as well as the police and ambulance.

The first firies on the scene were quick to provide first aid.

“They put that person under cool running water, just to cool the burn down until the ambos arrived,” Inspector Brown said. “That person was then treated by ambulance [staff] and ended up being flown by helicopter to hospital.”

NSW Ambulance told Yahoo News Australia the man has suffered burns to his face, chest and arms, and was airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital by the Westpac chopper.

The burnt gas cylinder (left) and barbecue (right).
Firies say the blaze occurred when the man bent down to check on the gas cylinder. Source: Fire and Rescue NSW

BBQ maintenance key to ensuring safety

The incident has prompted Fire and Rescue NSW to call on people barbecuing to follow some “simple steps” to keep themselves safe.

“Summer is finally here, we've got some warmer weather, so people are outdoor barbecuing,” Inspector Brown said.

“Just make sure that your barbecue is maintained regularly and also check the condition of the fittings, the connections and the hoses before turning on the gas. Another simple technique to see if there are any gas leaks is just to fill a spray bottle with soapy water and spray it on the fittings and if it forms a bubble you know there's a little leak there. Also make sure the barbecue is cleaned regularly and the drip tray is emptied.”

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