China: Around The Nation

Father and son badly burned after small hydrogen ballon stuck in tree explodes in eastern China

Pair trying to get balloon free when it burst into flames in Jiangsu province

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 August, 2016, 4:33pm
UPDATED : Monday, 15 August, 2016, 4:33pm

A father and son suffered serious burns after a hydrogen-filled balloon they were trying to free from a tree exploded in eastern China, according to a news website report.

The father Wang Hu, 41, and his son Wang Peng, 17, suffered second-degree burns with one third of their bodies affected, reported.

The two-metre wide balloon was stuck in a tree in Changshu in Jiangsu province earlier this month.

A “Taibei Hot” logo was written on it and the balloon may have drifted from a shopping mall in Shanghai, the men’s family was quoted as saying.

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The “Taibei Hot” shopping mall, 50km away from Changshu, officially opened on July 30.

Balloons were used on the opening day, employees at the mall were quoted as saying.

The father and son were not smoking when the balloon exploded.

Hydrogen balloons can explode due to various causes such as high exposure to sunlight or increased pressure, the report said.

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The National Meteorological Bureau published a security notice in 2008 saying hydrogen should be replaced by inert gases if balloons are used where people are gathered, according to the article.

Helium, however, is more expensive than hydrogen and some still use the highly flammable gas.