Campers poured water over a man and woman suffering from burns until paramedics arrived. The woman was airlifted to a burn unit with injuries described by the ambulance service as “life-changing.”
The man was taken to a hospital by ambulance.
“As soon as the explosion occurred it alerted other campers,” Dorest fire officer Steve Underhill explained. “They came forward with extinguishers, with buckets and bottles of water and quickly put the fire out in the tent, but then applied cooling water to the casualties. Their actions were invaluable.”
Firefighters believe the cause was a gas leak from a cooking stove cylinder. Investigators from Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said leaking gas ignited another cylinder nearby.
The blast destroyed one tent and damaged another. “Following this incident further safety messages and briefings have been put into place to reinforce fire safety practices,” a Bestival representative told BBC News.
It’s the second year in succession that the festival has been hit by tragedy. Last year a 51-seat coach taking fans home from the festival hit a tree and flipped over on the A3, near the Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey. A bus driver and two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene.