All Pains Wessex White Collision Warning Mk 7 hand flares are being recalled following flare explosion injury 12/4/06

A faulty hand held flare left a man critically ill last week when it exploded during a demonstration he was giving, severely damaging his hand and arm, removing a thumb and then embedding part of its casing in his abdomen. Part of the flare reportedly entered his torso and was found protruding from his back.

The accident has led the Energetics Division of Chemring Group plc, who own Pains Wessex Safety Systems, the manufacturers of the flare, to issue a statement recalling all White Collision Warning Mk 7 hand flares. An investigation has commenced in co-operation with the Health and Safety Executive and the Trading Standards to determine exactly what happened when the flare was activated during a demonstration in a field near Slough.
The injured man who was in a critical condition in Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, has reportedly had plastic surgery operations to re-attach his thumb and suffered severe internal injuries with considerable blood loss.

Mike Helme, managing director of the Energetics Division of the Chemring Group told Yachting World: “There were in the region of 2000 flares in the two batches covered by the recall.”

The details of the recall are as follows: the flare is a Pains Wessex Collision Warning Mk 7 Hand Flare. The product number is 52651, lot numbers 2045 and 2046 with an expiry date of 12/08, that’s December 2008. This information should be ink-jetted onto the tubes of flares.

The flares are normally sold on their own and are also contained as part of the widely sold Collision Warn Off Kit and the ORC/RORC Distress Kit.

Pains Wessex warn that anyone in possession these flares should be aware that they could malfunction and that they should return any such product to the place from which they bought them. They can take them to their nearest chandlery or phone 44 (0) 2392 623962. They can also email for more information.

Mile Helme said that it had taken time to establish the batch number information for the flare, hence the delay in the recall.