MP Gordon Henderson burnt in petrol bonfire accident

MP Gordon Henderson posted this picture of his burns on Facebook Image copyright Gordon Henderson / Facebook
Image caption Gordon Henderson posted this picture of his injuries on Facebook

An MP has used social media to describe suffering burns to 30% of his body after lighting a bonfire with petrol.

Gordon Henderson, the Conservative MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, posted a picture of his injuries on his Facebook page.

He said he had used a "small amount" of petrol to light a bonfire in an enclosure in his garden.

The MP said he was treated at a specialist burns unit and is now recovering at home in Eastchurch.

'Hair caught fire'

Mr Henderson used the post to warn others about the dangers of using petrol to start garden fires.

He said: "My hair caught fire and I was badly burned on my face, back, sides, chest, both arms and right leg.

"In fact, my left leg was the only part of my body to escape relatively unscathed.

"Thankfully there was a hosepipe close by, positioned for just such an eventuality, and my wife Louise had the good sense to immediately douse me with water for 10 minutes.

"If she had not taken such immediate action then I might well be dead, and that is not being over dramatic."

Image copyright Conservative Party
Image caption Mr Henderson warned others could 'end up dead' if they used petrol to start bonfires

Mr Henderson was taken to a minor injuries unit and later transferred to the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead after the accident last month.

He added: "I have posted a photograph showing the outcome of my accident.

"It is not a flattering photograph, but I have posted it because I very much hope it will show, in graphic terms, the affect that one moment of thoughtlessness can have on any one of us."

Image copyright Gordon Henderson / Facebook

Mr Henderson concluded his post: "So, to anybody out there who is in the habit of using petrol to start a bonfire, or is tempted to do so in the future, I would urge you to resist such temptation.

"Think of what happened to me and remember that the same thing could happen to you.

"Your skin could end up looking like mine did, or, worse, you could end up DEAD!"

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