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Hairdresser killed as bleach bottle catches fire

world Updated: Mar 26, 2010 15:48 IST
Hairdresser killed as bleach bottle catches fire

A 19-year-old British hairstylist was killed in an accident after her car burst into flames when she lit a cigarette that ignited fumes from a bleach bottle in her bag, a media report said on Friday.

Jennie Mitchell was burnt to death in her car when gas coming from a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in her salon bag went up in flames. Her car caught fire and careered off a country road, Daily Express reported.

Mitchell was on her way to colour her mother’s hair when the accident took place.

Her father, Bob Mitchell, said he thought the hydrogen peroxide had leaked into the bag and mixed with another chemical to produce the highly explosive fumes.

He suspects that a spark as she lit a cigarette combined with the combination of chemicals caused the explosion two weeks ago.

"It’s very hard to accept what’s happened, particularly because of the circumstances."

He said Jennie was returning to the family home in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on the day of the accident after visiting her fiance Russell Andrews.

“She was making her way back to do her mother’s hair, so she had her equipment bag with her. She would have been carrying hydrogen peroxide in a small amount, because it’s an ingredient used to dye hair."

He went on to say that she "might have been having a cigarette in the car before she got back home and lighting it probably caused the explosion. Most of the damage was found in the front of the car, which is where the chemicals would have been."

"It was just a total accident - nobody realised it could even happen until it did. None of the police or ­coroners we have spoken to have ever heard of this happening before,” he was quoted as saying.

Jennie's distraught mother Pauline said: “We want to warn people how volatile hydrogen peroxide is, even if it is kept in the boot of a car. Jennie’s friends have all said they carry it. All we can do now is make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”