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Man died after barbecue ‘flashback’ engulfed him in flames

A BUSINESSMAN suffered horrific burns after he was engulfed in a fireball when a Sunday afternoon family barbecue turned to tragedy, an inquest was told.

Bipinchandra Patel, 61, had enjoyed a barbecue lunch with other members of his family when his son Sanjay attempted to relight the hot coals to cook for late arrivals.

Mr Patel was only a few feet away from the charcoal barbecue when the lighter fluid suffered a “flashback” and engulfed him in flames.

Family members rolled him over on the ground to try and put out the flames and then removed his burnt clothes.

Mr Patel suffered 30 per cent burns covering his face, chest, arms and legs and underwent skin grafts, but died a month later in Nottingham City Hospital.

Sanjay told an inquest at Grantham: “I lit the barbecue earlier and there were no problems.

“I cooked the food and everyone was eating and drinking and having a good time.”

He said that by the early evening the barbecue had gone out and he attempted to relight it so that he could start cooking again.

He said: “I squirted lighter fluid on to the barbecue to relight it and nothing happened.

“I then squirted more fluid. It just came back on itself and the flames went everywhere.

“It was a flash back from the bottle. I looked up to see my father’s clothes on fire.”

Mr Patel was rushed to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham and later transferred to Nottingham City Hospital, but never recovered and died on May 9.

Pathologist Dr Keith Robson said in a statement that death was due to heart and multiple organ failure brought on by burns.

West Lincolnshire assistant deputy coroner Paul Smith recorded a verdict of accidental death on Mr Patel who suffered his horrific ordeal at the family home in Barrowby Gate, Grantham, on April 10 this year.

Mr Smith said: “This was a terrifying and tragic accident. It must have been shocking for everybody.”

Detective Sergeant Debra Clarke, of Lincolnshire Police, said: “This was a freak accident. “The family are devastated by the loss. Sanjay Patel was very close to his father and is struggling to come to terms with the incident, blaming himself.”

Mr Patel, who lived with three other generations of his family in the same house ran the family business, Ashbon Laundry, with his brother Pakaj for 20 years.

The company is based on the Alma Park industrial estate in Grantham. Both Sanjay Patel and Pakaj Patel declined to comment on the tragedy.

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