Claire Mannon was injured in an explosion near Cranbrook last week. Photo Submitted

Campaign launched to support young woman injured in explosion

Emergency personnel responded to a reported explosion in Cranbrook on Dec. 27.

A fundraising campaign is seeking support for a young woman injured in an explosion near Cranbrook last week.

According to a GoFundMe campaign, several people were involved in an accident resulting from an explosion on Dec. 27.

Claire Mannon, 18, was taken to hospital in Cranbrook and flown by air ambulance to Vancouver, where she currently is receiving treatment for significant burns to over 35 per cent of her body.

A group of people were ice skating at a frozen lake outside Cranbrook, when they started a fire in a barrel to warm up, according to Sarah Sims, a local family relative.

However, the cause of the explosion— whether something had been stored inside the barrel and buried by ashes — remains unknown, said Sims.

“Basically, it was a contained fire that exploded for unknown reasons, is the most accurate description,” said Sims.

B.C. Emergency Health Services confirmed the incident, noting paramedics responded to a call at a frozen lake near Baker Mountain Road.

“Two ambulance crews and a community paramedic were dispatched to the scene,” reads the statement. “Paramedics cared for three patients, two of which had minor injuries and did not require transport to hospital. One patient sustained life-threatening injuries – they were cared for by BCEHS critical care paramedics and transported to a Vancouver hospital by air ambulance.”

Sims said Mannon will remain in Vancouver until she can be safely transported home to Arizona in the U.S., which could happen as soon as Thursday. Once back home in Phoenix, doctors can investigate the full extent of the burns and determine specific treatment plans.

Sims said doctors have estimated treatment will require 30 months in hospital.

Sims credits the B.C. Professional Firefighters Association for supporting the family through the Burn Fund. She said firefighters came to the hospital after the accident and offered assistance, contacting counterparts in Vancouver who helped family members following Mannon’s transfer to the Lower Mainland.

Donations to the GoFundMe campaign can be made online.

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