Three nights ago, I was right in the midst of a gas explosion in our little kitchen. Apparently, I didn’t realise how shocked I was until a couple of days later. But I really am all right – just some bruises and cuts on my lower extremities and arms, and a small bone fracture in my middle left toe. Very fortunate, considering the extent of the damage the explosion has done to our kitchen and I was right at the very center of it!
My husband and I were busy that day and would be home late; no mood to cook dinner. I got home first, ordered in a pizza, and then worked on my iMac. Less than 15 minutes before my husband should be arriving, I was to turn on the oven to full heat so we could re-heat the pizza just before dinner. At 20:28, I went in to the kitchen, and turned on the gas – switching the dial to full heat.
BOOOOOM!!! Very loud. The kitchen was a wreck. The air was smoky. My immediate reaction was to utter “What the bug…???! An explosion???!!!”. I felt an intense heat, especially on my lower extremities, and it smelt like something’s burned. My first thought was “Oh no, my feet got burned! Gotta pour cold water over them quickly!”. Fortunately, it occurred to me to turn off the oven gas first before I scrambled to the bathroom!
After letting cold water running over my feet for a while, I went back to the kitchen – just standing there at the doorway looking at the wreck. It’s almost unbelievable that I came out of it relatively unscathed. I just went “Wow”, and walked back to my computer. I sat down, considering to continue with my work, then looked at the clock: it was 20:30. My husband should be home in 10 minutes. I started to text him, but thought that I’d better ring him instead. So I did, but no reply. I stared at my computer screen, and discovered that I needed to lie down. So I hobbled to the living room – it was near the kitchen, and lied down on the sofa. By now I could feel the pain all over my lower extremities. My little toe looked quite smashed and bloody too. But at least no major burn there! Pheeew!!!
My husband rang back, and I told him what happened. He was almost home anyway. Needless to say, he was horrified by the state of our kitchen – and relieved that I was not more badly injured. He rang the management and the gas company, and they came quickly to inspect the damage and check the gas connection. They disconnected the gas from the oven, and made sure that the rest of the gas connection was fine. The couldn’t figure out how the explosion could happen. They also thought it was incredible that I wasn’t more badly injured as I was basically standing within 60 cm from the center of explosion.
The explosion came from under the sink, which was on my left side where I was standing to turn on the oven – hence worse injuries on my left leg and foot. There was a cabinet underneath the sink, and one of the doors has thrown off – while the rest were torn loose. Strips of wood covering the bottom part of the cabinet have blown off and torn. The pipes under the sink were broken and pushed away, the sink itself came off – pushed out from below. The entire kitchen counter top – a heavy stone – was pushed forward, leaving around 1.5 cm gap between the counter top and the wall. The stove top above the oven were also pushed up, and the heavy stone cracked. The oven itself was pushed forward as well. The whole drawers and cabinet unit run alongside the oven under the sink area was damaged. Even the light fittings on the ceiling got dislodged! And the sealant on the ceiling cabinets cracked, dropping debris… And to think that I was right in the middle of it all – right at the very centre! Yiiiiiikes!!! I have been sooo… very lucky indeed!!! Lucky that I have put away all the breakable dishes and cutlery (knives!) from the drying rack on top of the kitchen counter before I turn on the over. Who know what kind of damage and injuries would have taken place otherwise. The drying rack was thrown up and everything on the kitchen counter turned all topsy turvy!
Looking back now, I didn’t remember hearing any other sound other than the very loud BOOOOOM!!! although it must have been quite noisy with everything being hurtled and thrown out of their place. I didn’t recall feeling or noticing anything fell upon me – although they obviously have: the door was slammed hard upon my left foot and calf. All I did feel was the heat, and the incredulity of it all…
Well, there must have been some gas leaking from the oven connector. And it’s been building up in the narrow space at the back of the cabinet besides the oven and under the sink, and inside of it as well. Hence the explosion under the sink and all the resulting ruptures around it… The investigation continues on…
We need a new kitchen.