Probe begins after school gas blast

By Corey Charlton of Hawkes Bay Today -
Hastings firemen carry what was believed to be the cause of an explosion or fire at Mayfiar School, Hastings. Photo / Warren Buckland
Hastings firemen carry what was believed to be the cause of an explosion or fire at Mayfiar School, Hastings. Photo / Warren Buckland

Education officials have contacted Mayfair School after a gas canister exploded and injured a parent on the school grounds yesterday.

The woman, believed to be a 35-year-old parent, was taken to Hawkes Bay Hospital with moderate burn injuries to her shoulder, neck and arms.

A Ministry of Education spokesman said it was "always concerned to hear of accidents at schools" and would be available to offer its support if needed.

The school was believed to be conducting a camping exercise when the cooker exploded about 12.30pm. No students were hurt and they were seen enjoying their lunch break while emergency services worked at the school grounds. Two fire appliances and an ambulance attended.

Police were called but were not required.

Napier Fire Station senior station officer Bryan Dunphy said the cause of the explosion would be investigated.

"We're just going to investigate it to make sure there's not something wrong with the product - whether it's the operator, or what," he said.

The fire investigator dealing with it could not comment while the investigation was still under way. Mayfair School board of trustees chairman Kieran Horsefield said he could not comment much more than what had already been reported to Hawke's Bay Today.

"The investigation is under way, as to what happened and how it happened.

"We have had lengthy meetings with the fire service today about the matter."

Mr Horsefield said any measures for the board to consider putting in place to make sure a similar incident doesn't occur again would form part of the investigation.

He said he wanted to reassure parents and the public that the school was still a safe place for their children.

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