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Gravesend: Monica Williams escapes injury after oven door explodes

By Ed McConnell

A man has hit out at an appliance manufacturer after his elderly parents' oven door exploded, shooting shards of glass and fittings in all directions.

Monica, 79, and 83-year-old Wally Williams’ three-year-old Hotpoint oven went bang, moments after his mum had finished the washing up at the couple’s home.

Son Paul contacted the company to explain what had happened but was told nothing could be done as it was out of warranty.

Monica and Wally Williams with pieces of glass from the oven that exploded

Hotpoint offered to replace the door for £149, later reduced to £50, but Paul says he was more comfortable buying his parents, who live in Saxon Close, Pepper Hill, Northfleet, a new oven made by a different manufacturer.

The 53-year-old Dartford resident said: “Rather worryingly the oven was not even in use and was cold when it exploded.

“Moments before my mum had been standing just a few feet away with the back of her legs facing the door.

“She undoubtedly narrowly escaped serious injury.

“Unfortunately, Hotpoint is seemingly uninterested in the potential public safety issue this presents and I was surprised to learn they are taking no responsibility for it because the warranty has expired.

“My mum certainly doesn’t feel comfortable standing at the kitchen sink now.

“She regularly takes care of her two-year-old great-granddaughter, who would not be allowed in the kitchen if the oven was on but would always be at my mum’s side otherwise.

The oven which exploded was not even in use at the time

“Thank goodness she was not in the kitchen at the time.”

Paul Williams added he had been online to find out what might have caused the explosion when he came across a story about an almost identical incident that appeared in our sister paper the Medway Messenger in October.

On that occasion Sharon Doherty’s oven door exploded yards from her husband and their pet spaniel as she cooked a Sunday roast. Hotpoint refused to take responsibility.

Mr Williams said: “I’ve read on a lot of forums that it’s due to a microscopic flaw in the glass manufacturing process.

“Hotpoint haven’t confirmed this but obviously if it’s happened before there must be something causing it.

“It begs the question why was there no product recall?”

A spokesman for the manufacturer said: "All our products meet or exceed all applicable legal, regulatory and safety regulations and standards in force at the time of manufacturing. In addition, all our products are subject to Whirlpool Corporation’s own rigorous quality control processes."

The statement was near identical to that issued in October.

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