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Saturday, 8 September, 2001, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Three hurt in boat blast
Emergency crews at canal side
Emergency crews treated the injured at the scene
A man and woman have been badly burnt in an explosion and fire on a canal boat.

Their six-year old son escaped with less serious injuries.

The incident happened on the Shropshire Union Canal at High Green, near Brewood, Staffordshire at 0847 BST on Saturday.

Investigations are under way, but the explosion is believed to have been caused by gas.

Gas cooker

It was followed by a fire on the boat.

Sergeant Roger Jones of Staffordshire Police said: "The occupants of the boat got up to make a cup of tea.

"As one of them was lighting the gas cooker, there seems to have been some sort of small explosion which caused them to have burns."

Peter Wingate, a boat owner who was moored nearby and came to their rescue said:" They were very, very shocked and in a lot of pain, obviously.

Breathing problems

"They had burns to their hands and feet mainly and he had some nasty burns to his face as well."

Staffordshire Ambulance Service said the woman suffered nine per cent burns to her lower body.

The man's feet and hands were burnt.

The couple, both in their 20s, were also badly affected by breathing in smoke.

Air ambulances

The boy was said to have suffered "flashback burns" but his injuries with described as relatively minor.

Staffordshire ambulance spokesman, Bob Lee, said: "From our point of view this was a very serious incident."

Two ambulance crews, a paramedic and a doctor were sent to the scene.

Two of the area's three air ambulance helicopters were used to take the injured to the regional burns unit at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.

The woman's condition there is described as "poorly but stable", the man is "stable" and the boy is said to "comfortable".

The family comes from north Staffordshire.

See also:

01 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
Gas pipe clue to Tokyo explosion
28 Aug 01 | Scotland
Man burned in gas blast
30 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Esso fined over fatal explosion
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