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Woman scarred by exploding de-icer

PUBLISHED: 15:28 04 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:06 03 March 2010

A WOMAN who was left with horrific facial injuries and was nearly blinded after her microwaveable de-icer exploded has today warned others about the dangers of the device.

A WOMAN who was left with horrific facial injuries and was nearly blinded after her microwaveable de-icer exploded has today warned others about the dangers of the device.

Jennifer King could be left permanently scarred after the de-icer blew up in her face.

Mrs King, from Burstall Lane, Sproughton, faced a nightmare ordeal when she took the object out of the microwave, to remove the ice from the windscreen of her car, only for the device to explode.

The 45-year-old was taken to Ipswich Hospital by ambulance yesterday morning and transferred to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to be treated for her injuries. But she is now back at home recovering from her ordeal.

"It happened as I was getting it out of the microwave and it just went bang and blew up in the kitchen. I just ran and got my head underwater."

She said the skin of her face started to peel off and she then called her daughter, 18-year-old Lucy Downie, to call for an ambulance.

"When she saw my face she cried," said Mrs King.

"When I saw my face in the mirror I could see why she cried. It must have been frightening. When I came out of Norfolk and Norwich and saw my face in the mirror I was quite shocked.

"I am not bitter about it. I am just grateful I have still got my eye-sight left. I could cope with scarring but not the loss of my sight.

"I had also put my coat and gloves on beforehand – which I don't usually do – so luckily my hands and neck were protected.

"I was told the next couple of weeks that the skin would weep and be prone to infection.

"My skin is swollen which is a normal thing with a chemical burn."

Paramedics arrived within minutes and a gel mask was put on Mrs King's face before she was taken to hospital. She is due to return to the Ipswich Hospital on Monday for a further assessment.

The explosion took the surface of her skin off and it is unclear at this stage whether there will be any permanent scarring.

Mrs King bought the mircowaveable de-icer – a plastic-type object which contains liquid – through the shopping channel QVC (which is a reputable shopping channel).

She will be contacting them to find out who the manufacturers of the de-icer are.

Meanwhile she is calling for a warning to be put on the side of the de-icer to prevent others being injured.

"Different microwaves have different powers. Ours is a high powered microwave so it heats up quicker but it is probably designed for a less powerful model. It says heat up for 20 seconds maximum power or add on ten seconds. It is misleading when you are using the thing on full power. They should either add a warning or take it off the market."

She added that people would also have problems using it if their microwaves don't have minute timers but not second timers leaving people having to estimate the timing.

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