Singapore man killed in aromatherapy explosion


Singapore (dpa) – A 35-year-old father of five sustained fatal burns last week when his aromatherapy diffuser caused an explosion and fire in Singapore, a media report said Thursday.

The family had been using the diffuser every night since haze from forest fires in Indonesia has been blanketing the city-state.

Mohammed Rizalludin Hassan was topping up the diffuser’s essential oil from a 5-litre container in the bathroom when the family heard a loud sound and saw him running out of covered in flames.

“When I saw my husband in flames, I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to do,” his wife Nurul Asyikin Norman told local tabloid The New Paper. “I completely forgot all fire safety procedures in my panic.”

His wife and mother-in-law eventually put out the flames, and Hassan was taken to intensive care with 80 per cent burns, but died on October 22.

The family had bought two 5-litre plastic containers of essential oil after seeing a promotion online. They were given a free aromatherapy diffuser and an extra 2-litre bottle of the oil, all of which they kept in the bathroom of the master bedroom.

In the confined space, fumes from the oil “could have become flammable with the change in chemistry during the therapy, and a spark could result in an explosion or flash fire,” Gao Zhiqiang, an associate professor of chemistry at the National University of Singapore, told The New Paper.