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10 bystanders burned during fire safety drill in Shiga

26 Comments

Ten bystanders were rushed to hospital on Sunday after a fire safety drill went awry in Higashiomi, Shiga Prefecture.

According to police, firefighters were demonstrating how to extinguish a fire for a crowd of around 150 onlookers when the incident occurred. TBS reported that a 50-year-old firefighter poured alcohol on a burning oil pan, at which point the alcohol also caught fire and sprayed onto the crowd.

Police say the man, and two young girls, aged 6 and 8, sustained serious burns in the incident, while seven other people, aged between 7 and 70, sustained less serious injuries. The injured onlookers were standing about three meters from the pan, TBS said.

An eyewitness said that a similar incident had occurred moments before at a rehearsal for the drill.

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26 Comments
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woaw, didnt check the windage? At least he showed how not to do it,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

did he died?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The demonstrators should had taken the proper safety precautions in the worst case scenario something goes wrong. If they knew there's a good chance this was gonna happen and yet did it anyways, then it's even more stupid not to set up safety precautions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The thing that has me confused is that this demonstration was supposed to be about how to EXTINGUISH a fire. What part of extinguishing a burning oil pan involves pouring alcohol on it, not once but TWICE?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

3 m?? even one commenter, 5m???

and moreover the demonstrator got burned???

Fire demonstrations I have seen in my home country, it seemed like the crowd was kept 10m plus back, and like the fire guys had FULL suits and helmets like for a fire. I can't believe the instructor got burned, too. A real Mickey Mouse event.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some fire drills here are just too real.

At a school where I once worked the kids were made to exit the school, as in a normal fire drill, but cannisters of smoke were set off in the hallways and stairways to make it real. I think this might be happening in a lot of schools- check with your kids. Kids may feel it's normal for a fire drill and not think to mention it.

However, on close inspection the cannisters said they were not to be used in closed spaces, and people weren't supposed to be getting within a certain amount of meters from them when set off (like 30 or something). The smoke were not to be inhaled under any circumstance.

At the school - and I'm sure many other schools in Japan - they are placed for maximum effect to cause confusion and low visibility. Inhalation (for myself as well) was inevitable during the duration we had to be in smoky halls.

I see no reason why a fire drill need be so realistic, nor that children should be harmed in the process. I have a feeling it might be something pushed by the manufacturer or a supplier to increase sales, by selling to all schools.

I advise any parents or teachers at Japanese schools to look into it - see that any smoke cannisters are being used properly, or not at all. (Setting them off in the open would not serve the purpose of making the drill realistic, so I assume if you find them at all that they are being misused.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This man should not be a firefighter. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that if you put liquid on hot oil it will explode. Even water poured into hot oil explodes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Especially sad when a child is injured. Burns are very, very agonizing. I wish her and all others a very speedy recover.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just saw it on the news too, these are real firemen? What training do these people get. It's almost as bad as having someone drive a fire truck for ten years with no licence...oh wait that happened too. Really must get the hang of shogani I could get away with anything. Those poor people getting burnt by the fire department who had no firefighting equipment. Just fire starting equipment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I just saw this on the Japanese tv news, bunches of hair from the little girls running away on fire were also were found and one older man tried to put out the fires on one of the little girls, he ended up burning both of his hands. Just one silly question, why in the hell did they not have fire extinguishers ready???!!! These guys all had a similar incident during the so called rehearsal and they went to do the same stupid thing in front of a bunch of little children?? Idiots! I feel so sorry for these little girls. I do hope they get better soon!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"alcohol on a fire". That makes sense. ;-)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

alcohol on a burning oil pan, ...onlookers were standing about three meters from the pan,

That's criminal irresponsibility.

3 meters only? shouldnt that be at least 5+?

For what he did, it's 30 meters, and even, only in controlled wind conditions, on a field of pebbles, away from buildings, woods, if the guy wears a special full body suit and helmet. They don't have to do it in public drills. They can do the demonstration without audience and film it. They can show the extinguisher use on a barbecue used normally or without any fire.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have been involved in some of this so-called fire/safety/evacuation drills at a former place of employment.

When the FD guys where starting to demonstrate how to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher, they had poured gasoline into a huge steel tray, and then lit it, with a wall of flame shooting up around 4 or 5 meters into the air, the FD guy starts pulls the extinguisher and presses the handle to start putting out the fire, when a gust of wind blew the flames right into his face.

Fortunately he was not burned, he dropped the extinguisher and fell to the ground covering his head, and three other FD guys ran over and put out the fire.

Lesson learned...dont start fires on windy days!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Saw this on the news and was absolutely shocked by the clumps of the girl's hair all over the ground. Poor little things.

If you're going to have a fire drill and use real fire, why was there no buckets of water? The report last night said that they had to run to a house across the road and get out a hose. Precious minutes wasted I'm sure.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Disillusioned: "The same thing happened in the rehearsal, but they did it again anyway with the crowd 3 meters away? WTF!?!?! I hope the injured make a full recover and sue the pants of these idiots!"

Nah, we'll get the usual, "Shouganai ne!" and "Steps will be taken to avoid such natural disasters in the future" rubbish.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Reminds me of basic. I had an NCO instructing a solider to remove a radiator cap less then two minutes after the engine had stopped. I went against the chain of command and convinced most of the other soldiers to step back for a bit. A few people learned the lesson of waiting for the engine to cool down the hard way. Oh, and don't spray an electrical fire with water based solvent. Don't spray a grease fire with water cased solvent. Fire extinguishers are marked A,B, or C for a reason. This is universal labeling for the three most common types of fires. A” TRASH–WOOD–PAPER B” LIQUIDS and finally C” ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT. However, if you have a fire that is both electrical and wood based, calmly evacuate the building and call the insurance company.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Throwing alcohol onto an oil fire? What could possibly go wrong? Oh, that's right - the same thing as went wrong "moments before at a rehearsal for the drill."

So he did it once, it exploded, and he decided to do the same thing with children close?

What a moron.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

10 bystanders burned during fire safety drill in Shiga

Can anybody else see the irony in this headline? Was it part of the drill? - If you pour alcohol onto a hot plate, which probably contained another liquid (water, oil, etc) of course it is gonna explode! The same thing happened in the rehearsal, but they did it again anyway with the crowd 3 meters away? WTF!?!?! I hope the injured make a full recover and sue the pants of these idiots!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

All sounds unbelievable stupid, repeated a mistake. Poured liquid onto an oil fire. Did not have a safety distance for onlookers. A few matters to talk about.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How can these people be put in charge of anything if they have no basic knowledge of anything....

Basic education tells you not to do that

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Only in Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Fire hazard is not to be taken lightly as a spectacle and should be respected at all times, and even moreso during demonstrations. What happened sounds very regretful.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

3 meters only? shouldnt that be at least 5+?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

that 50-year-old firefighter needs to be sent back to school and take some remedial lessons on what not to pour onto a burning pan of oil. Hint: other flammable liquids.

but the news was quite gruesome. they showed bits of the girls' hair that had been charred by the fire.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

An eyewitness said that a similar incident had occurred moments before at a rehearsal for the drill.

Oops! Looks like someone followed rehearsal a little too closely.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"An eyewitness said that a similar incident had occurred moments before at a rehearsal for the drill."

Can they not explain the dangers of such drills before the drills are carried out? The irony of course is that probably none of the seriously burned fire-drill participants had ever been burned before. Well done!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

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