Chinese man badly burned after bursting hydrogen balloon with cigarette
Large balloon thought to have drifted about 600km into city in Hunan province, TV station reports
A Chinese man was badly injured after the cigarette he was smoking accidentally burst a hydrogen balloon.
Sixty-year old Wang Heping was walking in Yueyang in Hunan province on Wednesday when he saw a large hydrogen balloon slowly deflating, the Hunan Economic TV channel reported.
Wang was unaware his cigarette touched the surface of the balloon and it exploded.
Twelve per cent of his body was burned in the blast.
Wang’s doctor was quoted as saying the major burns were on the back of Wang’s head, his face and arms.
The balloon was marked “Chang Jewellery’s first store opening in Zhong county”, suggesting it may drifted about 600km from Chongqing, the report said.
Wang’s family has reported the case to police and are hoping to get compensation from the business that launched the balloon.
Hydrogen is the most the fundamental element. Because it is lighter than air, it is used in balloons. However, it can explode in the presence of oxygen. The next lightest element, helium, is non-flammable and is commonly used for advertising or as festive decorations.