A BRITISH teacher, 22, and her American pal, 18, are recovering in hospital after they were engulfed in a fireball from a petrol station explosion in Cambodia.
Zoe Eleftheriou from Medway, Kent, and Abigail Alexander from Miamisburg, Ohio, were seriously injured in the blast.
The pair were riding a motorcycle together past the LPG gas station in Siem Reap last Wednesday when it suddenly exploded.
They were blown off the bike and suffered from severe burns.
Zoe has been moved to a hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, while Abigail is being treated at the Royal Phnom Penh Hospital.
The pair are battling through the pain while officers are trying to find the owner of the LPG gas station after it was found to be operating illegally.
Zoe’s mother, Mary, said: ”I arrived beside Zoe to find her bandaged back up and still with tubes down her throat.
“It was explained they were still there because of the swelling on her neck and the rest of her body.
”The second doctor that spoke to me said her swelling was more than they would have expected so they are monitoring her for infection.
“Thanks to your prayers no infection has appeared yet which is a blessing.
”Yesterday she started the first of many surgical operations to remove dead skin which could become infected if left.
”She is able to nod and shake her head to questions or write letters in the air with her bandaged hands but trying to guess what she is saying is pretty hard.
”Zoe is a fighter and will pull though this so please keep her and Abbey in your prayers.”
PETROL STATION EXPLOSION
Thirteen people were seriously injured when the illegal and unlicensed LPG gas station exploded at around 1pm on Wednesday August 14.
A tanker truck containing 2,000 litres of the liquid fuel was transferring the gas to a storage tank behind the building when it suddenly ignited.
Dash cam footage from a car shows how the gas station suddenly burst into flames – hitting passing motorcycle riders who were knocked to the ground from the force of the explosion.
Thirteen people including the 11 locals and the two young foreign women, who were working in the area as teachers, were seriously injured in the blast.
Erin Alexander, mother of the American teenager, said that her daughter is currently in critical condition in ICU and on the ventilator to breathe.
Unfortunately, she has not been transported to a better hospital in Thailand due to the mounting medical bills and transport costs.
The family are now desperately raising funds for her with a GoFundMe page that has already raised 25,000USD by Monday.
Devastated mother, Erin, said: ”This was such an awful accident. My daughter was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
”Abbey received burns across more than 35 per cent of her body in the explosion. Her blood-work is becoming worse and she will be needing skin grafts.
”She has been transported to a hospital with a better burn unit in Cambodia and the costs are already adding up quickly.”
The mother then set up a GoFundMe account in order to help pay off the treatment expenses, which could possibly reach up to tens of thousands of dollars.
She said: ”The cost will be higher as we plan to move her to either Thailand or the US, so I set up the raising money account hoping that somebody would notice and help her.
”So far, we have received countless messages offering money and kind words.
“There are also multiple fundraisers happening in Siem Reap on Abbey’s behalf.
”We’re hoping to have her moved to Thailand soon. Thank you everyone for all they have done for us and all that has been donated.”
ILLEGAL & UNLICENSED
Brigadier General Phing Sambath, deputy police chief of Siem Reap province, said 12 fire trucks with 30 tanks of water were used to extinguish the blaze.
He said: “A total of 13 people, including police officers, guards, and female westerners, were wounded in the blast.
”The two foreigners, whose nationalities are not identified, had their skins burned while passing through the gas station when the tank exploded.”
The police are gathering evidence and searching for the owner of the gas station who was not at the shop when officers arrived to begin investigation.
Major General Neth Vantha, National Police Fire Prevention Department director, said that according to investigations, the explosion was caused during the transfer of gas from the tanker into the storage tank.
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He added: ”The transfer was done improperly and some gas leaked. The station owner asked the staff to turn off the electricity and there was a sudden”.
A petrol station in Russia exploded last week, filling the street with a fireball.
Six people were taken to hospital with burns after the explosion in the town of Sunzha, northern Ingushetia, prompting a police investigation.
And around the same time last year, a fuel tanker and car transporter collided near Bologna Airport to spark an apocalyptic explosion.
At least one person was killed and up to 70 people injured, 14 of them seriously, when they went up in flames on the packed highway in Borgo Panigale.
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