Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Five hikers were almost killed by an explosion after a gas camping stove “blazed out control” inside a remote hillwalkers’ shelter.

The walkers were taking a rest inside a stone bothy, a basic small single-storey traditional shelter, in the Highlands when the heating device caught fire.

A statement from Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) said gas camping stoves can be “potential bombs” and in this case two volunteers managed to grab the stove and put it outside where it “exploded in a surprisingly large fireball”.

The scary incident happened at the Corrour Bothy in the Cairngorms, luckily no injuries were reported.

However, the MBA has issued urgent safety advice around gas stoves after last Wednesday’s incident.

The BBC reports an MBA spokesman said: “It’s easy to be complacent about using stoves in bothies, but it’s important to remember that you’re using highly flammable fuel in buildings that usually contain a lot of wood. And some types of stove, such as the gas stove involved here, are potential bombs.

“Had this one exploded inside the small space of the bothy the injuries could have been horrendous – and in a remote location where summoning help could have taken several hours.”

The spokesman said bothies were a tremendous resource, particularly in bad weather.

He added: “We all cook inside them, but this incident underlines that we need to be very conscious of what we are doing at all times.”

The Corrour Bothy is a stone mountain shelter on the Lairig Ghru maintain pass between Deeside, near Braemar, and Speyside, near Aviemore.

Bothies are free to use structures that can accommodate small numbers of people, some have fires and toilet facilities.

According to the MBA the Corrour Bothy is “one of the most famous of all bothies” with an original “built in 1877 as a deer watchers hut and the last watcher to stay at the bothy was a Frank Scott who left in 1920”.

A description continued: “In 1949 the bothy was reconstructed by members of the Cairngorm Club with help from others and has been maintained by the MBA since 1967. Over the years, increased usage was unfortunately accompanied by irresponsible toilet practices. So much so that the area around the bothy was becoming an environmental hazard.

“The MBA resolved to address the issue and in 2006, a small extension was built to accommodate an experimental “dry toilet”. This has subsequently been doubled in size, evidence of the popularity and usage of this well-known bothy.”

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