Mum burned by ethanol thrown on heater in beer garden said man 'did it for a laugh'
The extent of the 28-year-old's injuries are not yet known
April Charlesworth, a 28-year-old mum from Suffolk who was out celebrating her birthday, has been left with severe burns after a drunken man blew up a heater by pouring ethanol into it.
On April 24th, not long after the pubs had reopened, April and her cousin Ashleigh went out to celebrate her impending 28th, but her night was soon ruined by one stupid individual. According to April, Ashleigh and other witnesses, "a man in a drunken state" was dangerously pouring ethanol into the heater in the pub's beer garden, causing it to explode and injure several in the blast.
Both women were engulfed in flames and, unbelievably, April says that it was someone's Pinot Grigio that helped put the fire out: "I had someone chuck a bottle of wine over me and then I was taken to the toilet and had water splashed all over me." The man who caused the explosion was also part of the birthday celebrations.
After being initially escorted into the toilets, the cousins were then rushed to hospital and immediately put on ventilators. April herself was sent to Bury St. Edmunds Hospital, before being put to sleep and transferred to Queen Victoria Hospital in London; Ashleigh, a 27-year-old nurse, was taken to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.
Both are still waiting to find out the full extent of their injuries and whether they will require more surgery, but they remain in hospital and their injuries have been described as "life-changing". April has been given donor skin whilst she recovers but the lasting impact of burns to her face, neck and hands is still uncertain.
Heartbreakingly, April - who works as a support worker for Your Life Care Solutions - says that her son has still not been to visit her in hospital as she doesn’t want him to see her in her current state, as well as having suffered panic attacks and flashbacks in the wake of the explosion.
April only woke up a whole four days after the incident and says that all she remembers is "my face just being on fire." She and her cousin (who also spent two days on a ventilator) are currently speaking most days and are trying to support each other during their treatment. The pair, originally from Colchester have said that they fear a "long road to recovery" ahead.
One of the most sickening things about the story is that the pair said that the man did it "for a laugh". While several were urging him to stop, one member who had stopped up until this point went to the toilet and the heater soon exploded. It is thought that it was the property of a customer and not the King's Head Pub itself.
Moreover, despite being injured by the reckless act himself, the man in question has not contacted either of the women to apologise or check in on their wellbeing, as April stated: "He was able to walk out of hospital after just 36 hours, whereas here I still am 12 days later."
Suffolk Police say "no arrests have been made or charges. However, a man has been interviewed voluntarily regarding the incident. Enquiries are ongoing in regards to the circumstances."
Fundraising pages have been set up for both April and Ashleigh, with nearly £10,000 pounds in total raised by well-wishers hoping to help the women’s recovery. April said: "I didn’t expect that many people to be so supportive. It was a big shock. It means a lot."
Our thoughts go out to them during this difficult time and we wish them all the best on their road to recovery.