Thai firefighter dies in freak accident after petanque ball he was heating for a game explodes

A Thai firefighter was killed when a petanque ball he was heating on a burner exploded on Sept 3, 2017.
A Thai firefighter was killed when a petanque ball he was heating on a burner exploded on Sept 3, 2017. PHOTO: THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Thai firefighter was killed when one of three hollow steel balls he was heating in a burner exploded late afternoon on Saturday (Sept 3).

Police responding to the fatal explosion report found firefighter Decho Phetchnin, 51, dead with a serious head wound in northern Thailand's Uttaradit province.

Two still-hot Petanque balls were nearby along with a shattered burner, whose parts were scattered in a 10m radius.

Muang Uttaradit superintendant Pol Colonel Disayadech Patcharapuwadol learnt that Decho liked to heat his water-soaked petanque balls in a burner for two hours before joining other firefighters for an after-work game.

Some players believe that heating Petanque balls increases the player's control over the direction they move.

But on this occasion, one of the balls suddenly exploded while Decho was bending over the burner stirring them.

A metal fragment from the exploded ball pierced his forehead and skull, resulting in instant death.

His family members didn't question the cause death and have already collected the body for a funeral.