Twelve hurt in explosion at Ottery’s famous tar barrels
HORRIFIED Ottery Tar Barrels revellers suffered burns and were set alight after an irresponsible idiot caused an explosion during last night s festivities. It is understood 12 people were taken to hospital, many with burns to their faces
HORRIFIED Ottery Tar Barrels revellers suffered burns and were set alight after an "irresponsible idiot" caused an explosion during last night's festivities.
It is understood 12 people were taken to hospital, many with burns to their faces, after an aerosol can was thrown onto a lit barrel near the town's factory site.
Shocked victims have described how the resulting "huge" blast knocked them to the ground as flaming tar spewed out of the barrel.
Stunned onlookers then had to pat out flames on their clothes.
Watching the event for the first time, Jon Watling, 23, suffered bad burns to his left hand as he moved to protect his face and was knocked to the ground by the blast.
He said today his "mashed up" hand is so bad he was set to be taken to hospital straight after speaking to the Herald.
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His friend is already hospitalised with bad burns to his face. Two others behind Jon were knocked from their feet and their hair was singed.
"I got up to see everyone on fire - my coat was covered in burning tar.
"People kept coming in to the casualty tent. There were 15 to 20 in there at a time. One guy next to me was told he would need to have plastic surgery on his face."
Ottery Carnival Committee chairman Graham Rowland has slammed the "irresponsible idiot" who caused the blast and hopes he is brought to justice.
He said the event had been one of the best-behaved in recent years, after carnival committee members had stepped up safety measures, adding: "We had put so many things in place but how can you control something like that?"
"I hope everyone is ok".