A man was nearly killed after a steel petanque ball that had been left near a fire pit exploded during a bachelor party in Belgium, burning his whole face and embedding metal shards in his skull.
A neighbour said that he “thought that a gas bottle had exploded” in the incident that left the 37-year-old unnamed Dutch tourist from Eindhoven seriously injured, according to local media.
The incident took place in the Belgian town of Stavelot, in Wallonia, on Saturday, 13th May, at around 9.30pm, after the tourists reportedly placed petanque balls in the fire pit.
Petanque is a popular French game that involves throwing metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden or plastic ball called a cochonnet.
The neighbour told local media: “Fifteen minutes later we saw an ambulance arriving. Then we heard a medical helicopter circling above. Then I knew it was for the holiday home.”
He added: “We heard the paramedics talking among themselves. So someone was seriously injured, his whole face was burned.”
The victim was transferred by helicopter to the University Hospital in Liege, where he was placed in an artificial coma.
The Stavelot-Malmedy Police told local media: “It had the same effect as a grenade.”
They added: “When the ball exploded, pieces flew into the back of someone’s skull.”
A spokesperson for the police also said: “It must have been an impressive bang. The affected man has lost a lot of blood.”
A second Dutchman was also reportedly injured in the explosion, suffering light injuries.
The police are investigating the incident.