Former University of Northampton student warns of risk of using gas canisters after horrific accident left her with extensive burns

Georgina Chalmers suffered extensive burns after a gas canister exploded at Camp Bestival
Georgina Chalmers suffered extensive burns after a gas canister exploded at Camp Bestival

A former University of Northampton student who suffered horrific burns after a gas canister exploded in her face is warning festival-goers of the dangers of using cooking stoves.

Georgina Chalmers, aged 27, was airlifted to hospital from Camp Bestival in Dorset last August after the gas canister she was holding started leaking and then burst into flames after it caught alight from a nearby stove.

Ms Chalmers was engulfed in a ball of flames and suffered extensive burns to most of the lower part of her body as well as her right arm, back and face.

Miss Chalmers, a safety improvement officer for Network Rail, needed six weeks off work and must now cover her scars in factor 50 sun cream each day.

She said: “I don’t think I have the words to describe it – if you imagine what it’s like when you just burn your finger.

“Learning to walk again was very painful and to go from being really fit and healthy to being fed though a tube and not getting out of bed, was a real shock.”

Miss Chalmers was working on a children’s craft stall at the four-day event with friend Felix Eve.

He also suffered burns and was treated in hospital but Miss Chalmers was kept there for two weeks and needed two operations.

Mr Eve has since moved to Australia but Miss Chalmers, of Wolverton, wants to return to the festival which starts on July 31 to warn others in the hope ‘no one else has to go though’ what she went through.

She said: “It’s not worth using the equipment and you can still buy them.

“Just make sure there is a safety valve. The ones that don’t are lurking in people’s garages and in shops.

“I went to Felix’s dad’s house recently and even he had three in his cupboard.”

Miss Chalmers also wants to say thank you to the people who showed ‘amazing human spirit’ to help extinguish the flames that covered her.