Wheelie bin blast maims Rocky teen
A TEENAGER has chemical burns to his eyes and two shattered hands after a two-litre plastic soft-drink bottle containing chemical liquid exploded.
The 18-year-old was emptying rubbish into a recycling bin beside his North Rockhampton home at 8pm on Monday when he noticed a foreign bottle and reached for it.
As the bottle moved it exploded, sending the chemical into his eyes. The pressure from the blast severely injured his hands.
The chemical, thought to be chlorine, burnt the protective film off the man’s right eye and sent him momentarily blind.
The pressure was so severe his wrist watch was torn from his arm and landed 7m away.
Yesterday the teen, who asked not to be named, still had blurry vision and had a saline solution permanently circulating through his eyes, as he recovered in Rockhampton Hospital.
He underwent surgery at 11am yesterday to repair nerve and tendon damage in his left hand and place a hook wire through his right thumb.
The man’s family was furious yesterday after what was possibly a “prank” gone wrong.
“I’m so angry,” his mother said.
“It could have killed him.
“My five-year-old grandson takes the recycling down sometimes. Police said that force could have definitely killed him.”
The mother said the incident was a terrible end to what had been a fantastic day.
She said she had spent the whole day with her two sons for some special, quality time together at their Plahn Street home.
The mother said the bottle had not come from her home and she believed it must have been put in the bin on either Sunday or Monday.
“He would have been in a lot of pain but he didn’t feel it because he was in shock at the time,” she said.
“He ran under the house and put his head under a tap, then jumped in the shower.
“I came down and noticed his hand was bleeding and he was red on his chest and stomach.”
The mother said it wasn’t the first time a suspected “chlorine bomb” had been placed in their wheelie bin.
She said six weeks ago a large bang came from the bin and shook the house.
Scenes of Crime police and detectives from the Criminal Investigation branch investigated the scene yesterday.
They are still determining if it was a deliberate act and a chemical analysis has not been finished.
The mother said it was not known how the boy, a second-year apprentice painter, would recover.
She said he would need at least six weeks off work and was waiting for results from an ophthalmologist about the future use of his eyes.
“He’s a good kid that would do anything for anyone,” she said.
“There are a lot of questions that need to be answered.
“But the big thing is parents need to know what their kids are doing or where they are. Someone might have been killed. It’s not funny and it’s not a good joke or prank.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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