Young dad dies after aromatherapy diffuser explodes
A 35-year-old dad dies after unfortunate explosion after lighting aromatherapy diffuser. Wife recalls his last words while waiting for the ambulance.
According to The New Paper, while his family were in the master bedroom, Mr Mohd Rizalludin Hassan, 35, went to its bathroom to prepare an aromatherapy diffuser.
Since the haze started, it was a nightly routine for Mr Rizalludin, an engineer, who would light up the diffuser in the bathroom before taking it into the room. But it went terribly wrong on the night of 13 October.
His wife, Madam Nurul Asyikin Norman, 34, was helping their oldest daughter, Anggun Ardini, 8, with her mathematics revision.
Madam Nurul's mother, Madam Juraidah Nabi, 53, was playing with the other 3 children - 5-year-old Ayra Arinah, 3-year-old Aariz Anaqi and 10-month-old Ana Auliyah.
Then they heard a loud sound coming from the bathroom. She will never forget what happened next: Her husband ran out of the bathroom, his body in flames.
Recalling the horrific sight, she told The New Paper yesterday evening: "When I saw my husband in flames, I was so shocked, I didn't know what to do.
"I completely forgot all fire safety procedures in my panic." Mr Rizalludin screamed in pain and jumped on and off the bed in a frenzy.
After the initial shock, Madam Nurul and her mother pinned him to the floor and smothered the flames with a blanket. Mr Rizalludin then told Madam Nurul that he was having difficulty breathing and requested for water.
Their maid, after finding out about the incident, ran outside the flat and shouted for help.
After being alerted at about 9.55pm, The Singapore Civil Defence Force dispatched a fire engine, an ambulance and a supporting appliance.
Madam Nurul said they had bought two 5-litre plastic containers of essential oil for about $600 from a company showroom after seeing its promotion online. The purchase came with a free aromatherapy diffuser and an extra 2-litre bottle of essential oil.
They had kept the containers of essential oil in the master bedroom's bathroom.
Madam Nurul still remembers vividly her husband groaning in pain. "It pained my heart to see him that way. While waiting for the ambulance, he turned to me and whispered 'sorry'," she said.
Mr Rizalludin was later transferred to the Singapore General Hospital where he was warded in the Intensive Care Unit for 9 days. He suffered from severe burns on his body.
His children, who could only see him through a glass window sang to him and told him stories through the intercom. But he was unresponsive most of the time. On 22 October, his blood pressure dropped and his condition worsened, said Madam Nurul. He died that day.
The widow said that the family meant the world to her husband. He would come home straight from work just to help around the flat and monitor his children's well-being.
"My husband would usually take Anggun to school every morning and tuck our son, Aariz, into bed every night. I lost the person I depended on the most in this world," she said while trying to hold back her tears.
Mr Rizalludin's last request was for his wife to accompany him on a fishing trip on his birthday on 15 November. Fishing was his hobby, but Madam Nurul was never a fan of it. "I had agreed to it, but sadly it will never happen now," she said.
There is a possibility that the explosion was due to a buildup of fumes from the diffuser.
Associate Professor Gao Zhiqiang from the Department of Chemistry at NUS Faculty of Science said, "Usually, aromatherapy is used in a closed room. This could mean vapour build-up in a closed space.The gases in the surroundings within the space could have become flammable with the change in chemistry during the therapy, and a spark could result in an explosion or flash fire in seconds."
Mr Mohd Rizalludin Hassan suffered 80% burns on his body after the explosion.
There has been no complaints with the Consumers Association of Singapore about faulty essential oil diffuser devices in the last 3 years.