Police said the three victims have suffered ‘potentially life-changing’ injuries (Picture: East Anglia News Service)Two women and a man are in hospital with ‘serious’ injuries after a portable heater exploded next to them in a pub garden.
Neighbours reported hearing screams as the heater set on fire in the outdoor dining area at the King’s Head pub in Great Cornard, Suffolk.
The three customers, aged in their early 20s, were injured in the fireball just before 10pm on Saturday.
One patient was rushed to the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, and the two others were taken to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds.
Police said today that their injuries are ‘potentially life-changing’.
The gas-fuelled burner was reportedly taken to the pub by customers without permission from the landlady. It is not known whether the victims taken to hospital had brought the heater, or whether it was another table.
The manager of the pub said: ‘I don’t want to say much. We are obviously concerned for the people who were injured.
‘But the stove that exploded was something that someone had brought in. We did not know anything about it.’
Customers reportedly brought the heater without permission from the landlady (Picture: Andrew Young/East Anglia News Service)IT consultant John Collings, 41, who lives next door said: ‘I was watching a film when I heard a woman screaming loudly at around 10pm before hearing ambulances and police arrive.
‘Before that there was just the general pub noise of people enjoying themselves in the garden. There had earlier been live music playing between around 5pm and 7pm
‘I went out at about 11.30pm and saw blue lights were still flashing and spotlights had been set up by police.
‘There were people hanging around and the police were telling them to move on. I also saw a helicopter with a searchlight. It was flying around doing a couple of sweeps of the area.’
Landlady Sarah Bond said in a statement on the pub’s Facebook page: ‘We’re closed today following an incident last night.
‘We’re working closely with the police and authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are will those injured.’
Officers continued their enquiries today (Picture: Andrew Young/East Anglia News Service)The pub was today cordoned off with tape, while officers were seen examining a pair of women’s coats which were dumped at the scene and appeared to be burned.
Ice buckets for drinks and several blankets being used by customers to keep warm were also seen abandoned next to tables.
A Suffolk Police spokesperson said: ‘The three people, two females and one male, remain in hospital after sustaining serious injuries, which are not believed to be life-threatening but are potentially life-changing.
‘A scene remains in place while officers continue to investigate the circumstances. However, it is due to be released later this afternoon.’
An East of England Ambulance Service spokesperson said the incident was attended by three ambulances, three Hazardous Area Response Team vehicles, and two ambulance officer vehicles.
Two helicopters from the East Anglian Air Ambulance and the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance were also scrambled to the scene ‘following reports of a number of people injured by fire’.
Anyone with any information relating to the incident should contact Suffolk police on 101 quoting reference 398 of 24/04/2021.
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