Safety warnings have been issued after people sheltering in a hillwalkers’ bothy in the Cairngorms escaped when a gas camping stove “exploded in a surprisingly large fireball”.
An explosion was narrowly avoided inside the small interior of Corrour Bothy in the Cairngorms prompting The Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) to issue safety warnings.
Five people were inside the bothy when one visitor tried to light a stove which had not been properly screwed onto the gas canister.
The stove and canister instantly flared up, making it impossible to turn off and “blazing out of control in the middle of the bothy”.
Two MBA volunteers were among those in the hut when the incident occurred and were able to smother the flames with a fire blanket before using a fire glove to throw it outside where, seconds later, it exploded.
In a safety warning following the incident, MBA said the explosion has “underlined the need to be particularly careful when using gas stoves in bothies”.
In a statement the association said: “Had it not been removed quickly it would have exploded inside the bothy, probably causing much damage to bothy and property and certainly seriously burning anyone still inside.
“People routinely use all sorts of stoves inside a bothy, and it’s easy to be complacent about using highly flammable and often explosive substances inside a wooden building where any accident can very quickly escalate to cause serious injury in a remote location where help may be hard to obtain.
“Remember: the best time to tackle a fire is to prevent it happening in the first place.”
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