11 students injured after gas canister explodes at school camp

Eleven girls aged 13-15 were sent to hospital yesterday after a gas canister exploded during a camp dinner in Tainan City.

The students from Stella Matutina Girl’s High School in Taichung City were enjoying the first evening meal during a two-night, three-day camp-out at the Zengwen Youth Activity Center, when the gas canister on a portable stove exploded, causing burn injuries to the students’ faces and hands.

scene of gas canister explosion at school camp barbecue
The portable gas stove is suspected to have been placed too close to a barbecue.

Six ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the accident, and the students were taken to four local hospitals for treatment. The most seriously injured girl suffered first and second-degree burns to 10 percent of her body.

Tainan City Fire Department investigators found the gas stove had been placed close to a barbecue and suspect that heat from the fire had caused the canister to expand and explode.

School officials said that the students were all second year students taking part in an annual outdoor education activity. Taichung City Education Bureau inspectors were sent to Tainan to investigate the incident.

As of today, November 1, seven of the girls have been released from hospital, with four of them returning to the camp, while 4 patients have been transferred to hospitals in Taichung City, to receive further treatment closer to their families.

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