8 people injured after 200 hydrogen balloons explode in China hotel lift

Firefighters rescue the eight people stuck in a hotel lift in Anhui, China, after a lit flame explodes 200 balloons.
Firefighters rescue the eight people stuck in a hotel lift in Anhui, China, after a lit flame explodes 200 balloons.PHOTO: SINA WEIBO

Eight people in a hotel lift were injured amid an explosion triggered by a passenger setting fire to hydrogen balloons, after a party in eastern China's Anhui province.

The group had attended a birthday party on Sunday (Dec 4) night, and were in the lift with nearly 200 balloons when one partygoer took out a lighter to set a balloon ablaze, news site iFeng.com reported on Tuesday (Dec 6).

The balloons exploded in the lift, stalling it between the first and second floors and trapping the partygoers.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and found all eight suffering injuries of varying degrees.

One slightly injured partygoer, who did not give his name, told IFeng.com that they were leaving after celebrating a friend's birthday. The restaurant was filled with many hydrogen balloons to pump up the celebrations. After the party, some children wanted the balloons and one parent grabbed 200 of them, entering the lift with seven other people.

Once inside, several people raised a ruckus, shouting: "Light it! Light it!", to the protest of the rest in the lift.

Still, someone went ahead and set alight a balloon, causing all the balloons to explode.

The lift stalled and panic ensued. They called the police from inside the elevator.

Several of the injured are still in hospital.

While some netizens slammed the act of setting balloons ablaze as "pure stupidity", others questioned why balloons were filled with hydrogen when hydrogen balloons have been banned by the Chinese authorities.