Flare demonstration accident (not for the faint hearted)


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14 Apr 2004
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Below is an excerpt from the weblog about the aftermath of the flare demo that went wrong last year. Best wishes to Duncan, and hats off to his family, friends and care specialists.

Makes you realise how delicately our lives can all hang in the balance.... a sobering story.

Link to the website at the bottom, and you can access all the archives from there.


"“And action!” shouted David from across the field. I armed the flare and then punched the handle in to fire it. There was a pause, a slight fizzing and then `bang', a huge explosion.

“Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t”. I felt something but I wasn't sure what and slumped to my knees. I shouted to David “Help ! F***ing Hell, I need help !”. There was a lot of blood around my stomach and I had naturally pulled my hand in to protect my body. I felt something at my back, I didn't want to look. I looked and could see the pink of my gut protruding from my back. Something, the flare I guess had gone right in to me. This was serious.

David came up, had a look and went off to the nearby security guard to call an ambulance, mobile reception not being too good in the field.

Some people from the houses that bordered the field came over. I was aware that something very serious was going on and that I had to retain consciousness until I arrived at hospital. It would have been too easy at that moment to have closed my eyes and gone to sleep. The brain is a marvelous thing because I don't think I really felt any pain after the initial shock.

David returned with two nurses, the BCUC whose field we were in coincidentally being a Nursing Training College. They cling filmed me and my hand. I must have lost concentration because the next thing I remember is an ambulance backing into the field.

Getting into the ambulance was a complicated thing, half crouching and half lifted and the bed I had to lie on was very uncomfrotable, the more so when the ambulance set off. There was a young lad in the back with me and a woman driving. I felt that now I could begin to relax as I would soon be at the hospital. After some time the ambulance stopped and I was aware that they were having a conversation, about GPS apparently.

They were lost, so we were back where we started at the gates of BCUC. I directed them to Wexham Park from there and discovered they were a standby crew from a different county, our local ambulances being busy. In fact once we hit the A413 they knew the way and I was once again able to relax my concentration.

I was vaguely aware of the siren going and the arrival at A&E but I had very much given myself up to the care of others.

I am told that I was in a lot of pain at A&E and they had to put me out and that every time they tried to remove the flare my guts came out with it but I am unaware of my time in A&E

Peter Rutter took over.

The date was 5th April 2006"

From http://www.anps.co.uk/Duncan/