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Financial law expert hospitalised after freak blast

A top financial services lawyer has been hospitalised with second-degree burns following a “freak” explosion in his kitchen, and he says he is lucky he wasn’t more seriously injured.

Thursday, October 25th 2012, 3:40AM 1 Comment

by Niko Kloeten

Chapman Tripp partner Tim Williams, who has been described by one international publication as "the best all round adviser on funds management" in New Zealand, is currently unable to walk after the four-metre blast, which occurred in his Auckland home on Saturday.

Williams was admitted to Middlemore Hospital with second-degree burns on 16% of his body, the vast majority of the burns on his legs.

Although he was subsequently released he said he would be going back into Middlemore this afternoon because his legs were getting worse.

“I can’t walk at the moment because my legs have swelled up… it looks like something out of one of those sci-fi movies,” he said.

Williams said he initially suspected the explosion had been a result of a gas leak; however, he later discovered the culprit had been cleaning chemicals.

“The cleaners had left a pool of cleaning chemicals in a draw under the bench and when I turned on the dishmaster it ignited the fumes from the chemicals.  Those fumes had spread out through the kitchen but were odourless so I couldn’t smell them,” he said.

“I was in Middlemore and when I came home I found this pool of inflammable liquid that was still there.”

Williams said he was “very lucky” because he was wearing woollen socks and a woollen jersey which protected those parts of his body from the blast.

“It could have been even worse if it had been one of my kids; it was centred just below my knees but I had singed hair and my wife who was four metres away had singed hair and singed eyebrows.”

He said it was too early to tell when he would be able to return to work but he would be off for at least a week.

Niko Kloeten can be contacted at niko@goodreturns.co.nz

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Comments from our readers

On 25 October 2012 at 4:23 pm Russell Hutchinson said:
My best wishes for Tim's recovery.

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