Royal Australian Air Force Sergeant Michael Dunn has died from severe burns after a portaloo explosion in Rockhampton.
Royal Australian Air Force Sergeant Michael Dunn has died from severe burns after a portaloo explosion in Rockhampton. Australian Defence

Sergeant in portaloo blast dies

SERGEANT Michael Dunn, who suffered severe burns in a portaloo explosion at Rockhampton Airport, has died.

The Royal Australian Air Force Sergeant received horrific third-degree burns to 40% of his body; including his head, face, arms, chest and airways, from the July 25 explosion during Exercise Talisman Sabre.

He died in Royal Brisbane Hospital yesterday morning where he had been recovering from emergency surgery immediately after the blast.

In July, the Department of Defence said it was believed Sgt Dunn had fuel on his body, which contributed to the ignition.

It said reports from the Department of Community Services that the explosion was sparked by a cigarette, was speculation.

In a release yesterday, the Department of Defence said a thorough investigation was continuing and details may become available once the investigation was complete.

Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown AM yesterday expressed his deepest sympathies, and those of the Air Force community, to Sgt Dunn's family.

"Sgt Dunn was highly respected and well-liked by his colleagues. Those who visited Mick since the accident were all affected by the courage and determination that he showed during his treatment and are extremely saddened by his passing," he said.

"Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Sgt Dunn."

Sgt Dunn served 27 years in the RAAF, and was serving at RAAF Base Tindal where he and his family were long-standing members of the Katherine community.

The Dunn family requested privacy, but said in a statement that they were grateful for the efforts of the dedicated staff in the Burns Unit.


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