Girl, 4, 'burned by hot coal from steam engine' in Weston

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 April 2018

Anysia Gardener in hospital. Picture: Charissa Chapman

Anysia Gardener in hospital. Picture: Charissa Chapman

Charissa Chapman

A four-year-old girl was badly burned when a steam engine spat out coal during an event in Weston-super-Mare last weekend.

Anysia Gardener's burns. Picture: Charissa ChapmanAnysia Gardener's burns. Picture: Charissa Chapman

Anysia Gardener was wearing a swimsuit on Saturday when a piece of coal, described as being as big as 50p, landed in her pushchair.

Mum Charissa Chapman, who is from Weston, said: “She started screeching, and I didn’t know what was the matter.

“She had coal burning the side of her neck and face.

“I quickly took her to the Smiths Hotel, who helped until the ambulance arrived.”

The steam engine was in Weston as part of Crosville Motor Service’s vintage vehicle day on the Beach Lawns.

Crosville says it is investigating the incident, but is not in a position to comment at the moment.

Charissa and Anysia were stood near the Smiths Hotel, in Knightstone Road, as the steam engine bus went by.

Charissa said: “It went past, and all of a sudden it backfired coal out of a pipe.

“It hit other people, but it didn’t burn them. It was about the size of a 50p.”

She added people went to speak to the driver to let them know what happened, but said they drove on.

Anysia has appointments to see medics at the specialist burns unit in Bristol.

Charissa said: “She has a lot of appointments to see specialists because the burns are quite deep.

“It burned down to the muscle, but thankfully it hasn’t damaged the nerves.

“The worst one is on her face.

“It is still quite sore, and she has been crying a lot.”

The vintage day was organised to mark Crosville’s last day of operating its bus services in Weston.

John Wye, managing director at Crosville Motor Services, said: “We are aware a private vehicle is involved in an alleged incident which took place late on 

“We are investigating the situation and are not in a position to comment at this time.”

Charissa said she has family members who run those types of vehicles at events in Dorset, and had not seen something like this happen before.

She added: “The other thing is, Anysia was scared of steam buses and she finally got over that and then this happens.”

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