Camp Bestival campsite explosion victim to return to festival

Georgina Chalmers spent two weeks receiving specialist treatment in hospital

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A woman who suffered burns to 28% of her body when a gas canister exploded at a music festival is to return to the event to thank those who helped her.

Georgina Chalmers, 27, from Milton Keynes, was trying to cook lunch with a gas canister when it blew up at Camp Bestival in Dorset last August.

She described a "sheer panic" when flames engulfed her.

She will return to the event this year and is warning other festival-goers to only use canisters with safety valves.

Ms Chalmers, whose friend suffered minor burns, was airlifted from the site, spent two weeks in hospital and had to have six weeks off from her job at Network Rail.

Georgina Chalmers Georgina Chalmers spent two weeks receiving specialist treatment in hospital
Georgina Chalmers The fireball engulfed the 27-year-old's lower body and back
Georgina Chalmers Georgina Chalmers said she was looking forward to returning to Camp Bestival

She was outside of her tent when she pierced a newly-bought cooking stove cylinder but could not secure the attachment to stop the gas escaping.

A few moments later the gas ignited from a second canister, which was being used to cook lunch on the Thursday of the festival.

Ms Chalmers said: "I thought 'oh my God' as the gas caught alight and became a terrifying blue and orange plume.

"I just had a summer dress on so the flames burnt the underneath and tops of my feet up to my bottom, my lap, all my right arm, back and face - I lost an eyebrow my eyelashes and burnt my ears ."

Ms Chalmers will return to the four-day festival, starting on 31 July, to thank those who helped her.

"I am always thinking about safety, that's what I do in my job, but this could happen to anyone who uses pierceable canisters without a safety valve," she said.

Camp Bestival said it had boosted fire safety practices, including more safety messages on site.

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