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Man who suffered serious burns while lighting bonfire in East Farleigh plunges into River Medway

By Angela Cole

A man who suffered serious burns in a horrific bonfire accident threw himself in the River Medway in a desperate bid to put out the flames.

The man, who is in his 50s, was pouring petrol on the fire at a caravan park near Farleigh Bridge in East Farleigh this afternoon.

The flames flashed up into his face and on his clothing, and he suffered 10% burns.

The River Medway at East Farleigh Bridge
The River Medway at East Farleigh Bridge

He threw himself into the River Medway in a desperate attempt to put out he flames, before being pulled from the water by fire and ambulance crews.

He was treated by ambulance crews at the scene and then taken to hospital for further checks. He is not thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries.

Maidstone watch manager Dominic Moore said: "This unfortunate incident demonstrates just how dangerous it is to use petrol on a bonfire.

"In this case, the water from the river helped to extinguish the fire and may have prevented further burn injuries, however, by jumping in the man put himself in yet further danger.

"Rivers can be far deeper than they look, with unseen hazards and dangerous currents. Also, the water can be very cold, no matter how warm the weather, which can quickly cause cramp and breathing difficulties, making it harder to get out unaided."

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