Air mattress explodes, sending German woman to hospital
October 21, 2013
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The explosion blew out the windows, lifted the roof and put a woman in the hospital. The cause: an over-inflated air mattress.
The automatic shutoff valve on the mattress pump apparently failed, police said. The mattress exploded at about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday in a small, attic apartment in the village of Ramstein, about two miles from Ramstein Air Base.
The 23-year-old German woman living in the apartment was hospitalized at St. Johannes hospital in Landstuhl with burn injuries to her head, according to a Landstuhl police spokesman.
The force of the explosion blew out windows and damaged roof tiles. When the fire department examined the roof the next day, they determined the roof was likely lifted by the explosion, based on the extent of the roof damage and cracks between the walls and the ceiling, according to a press release from the Rhineland-Pfalz police.
German police believe the explosion occurred after an automatic electronic pump the woman was using to blow up the air bed did not turn off after the maximum pressure was reached.
The incident caused an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 euros (about $68,000 to $96,000) in damage, according to German police.
German investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the explosion, said Andreas Petry, a Landstuhl police spokesman.
“At this time, many things are still unclear,” he said Monday.
In August, a similar incident was reported in Barver in Germany’s northern region. An air bed with an automatic pump exploded after a 41-year-old man repaired a hole in the mattress with flammable car tire sealant, according to the German news web site NDR. It’s believed that explosion was caused by a chemical reaction between the sealant and the streaming air from the pump. The incident caused about 150,000 euros (about $205,000) in damage, according to that report.