Blast burns staff member

Fire crews respond to the incident at the Tweed Heads South Hungry Jacks restaurant yesterday.
Fire crews respond to the incident at the Tweed Heads South Hungry Jacks restaurant yesterday. Tweed Daily News/Patrick Williams

A 16-YEAR-OLD Hungry Jacks worker suffered burns to her arms after an oil dumpster exploded at the Tweed Heads South store yesterday.

The freak accident occurred at the Home Mart on Tweed centre about 11am when two employees, including the 16-year-old female, went to unplug the malfunctioning dumpster from its power source once it began expelling smoke.

The dumpster suddenly exploded and spewed oil onto the teenage worker's arms when the power was cut.

She suffered superficial burns and was taken to The Tweed Hospital by ambulance for treatment before being released later in the day.

Co-owner of the Minjungbal Drive Hungry Jacks Matthew Fraser was on the premises at the time of the accident.

“Everyone is good. We were in contact with (the employee's) mum the whole day,” Mr Fraser said yesterday afternoon.

The injured staff member was initially treated at the Home Mart Medical Centre before the ambulance arrived.

“She was treated by the doctors at the centre straight after it happened. She was talking to us and seemed okay,” Mr Fraser said.

Mr Fraser said it was unknown why the oil dumpster exploded.

“For some reason it just exploded when an employee removed the power cord from the wall,” he said.

Mr Fraser's partner and co-owner Paula Donovan, 30, was standing behind the 16-year-old employee at the time of the accident.

“It was quite a shock once it happened,” Ms Donovan said.

Mr Fraser and Ms Donovan have only owned the rest- aurant for a couple of months.

Mr Fraser said when staff members acted quickly to contact paramedics and the fire brigade.

Two fire engines from Tweed Heads Fire Station responded to the call.

Tweed Heads station officer Martin Maher said her injuries were not severe.

“She was lucky it wasn't any worse,” Mr Maher.

“It looked like she was going to be fine.”

The employee was assessed in emergency room at The Tweed Hospital and was later discharged.

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