Portaloo burns man has surgery

THE Royal Australian Air Force member burned during a portaloo explosion at Rockhampton Airport on Monday is today in a critical, but stable, condition in Royal Brisbane Hospital.

A hospital spokesman today said the officer was recovering in the intensive care unit after emergency surgery.

He received third-degree burns to 40% of his body, including his head, face, arms, chest and airways.

A Department of Defence spokeman refused to speculate on reports from the Department of Community Services that the man was lighting a cigarette inside the hired portaloo when the explosion occurred.

“I’ve seen lots of reports and it certainly hasn’t come from us,” the spokesman said.

He said they were unsure how the explosion occurred and “it would be inappropriate for us to speculate on it as the investigations are ongoing”.

Police today said they would continue to investigate and could not rule anything in or out in relation to the cause of the accident.

The man is believed to be in his 50s and is a sergeant with the Australian Air Force 322 Combat Squadron, based in the Northern Territory.


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