Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boy Hurt in Toy Train Blast

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boy Hurt in Toy Train Blast

Article excerpt

Byline: By ANDY PASSANT

A LITTLE boy has shown amazing courage after being badly burned in a mystery accident.

Spencer Connolly, five, was seriously hurt after a working model steam engine allegedly "burst into flames".

Spencer's injuries left him in a "critical" condition in hospital and needing operations and skin grafts.

Another boy was also seriously injured and two other children, including Spencer's sister, were hurt.

It has prompted an investigation by trading standards chiefs, who are trying to establish exactly what happened.

But officials say they are not aware of any similar incidents involving the Mamod model traction engine, which has been sold for many years.

Spencer had been with three other youngsters, including his eight-year-old sister Giorgia, at a relative's home when the accident happened.

It is understood a teenage boy had the model steam engine at the time.

Spencer's dad Shane Connolly, 31, of Sidlaw Road, Billingham, said: "My two kids have told us what has happened.

"Apparently there was amassive bang. It has literally burst into flames. The next thing there are two kids on fire."

He said his son was "burned from top to toe".

"He was in intensive care for the first seven days. We didn't know whether he would live or die."

Spencer was rushed to James Cook University Hospital after the accident.

He was later transferred, first to Newcastle General Hospital and then to the RVI in the same city.

Spencer spent nearly six weeks in hospital and needed a number of operations and skin grafts.

Mum Heather, 32, said: "He was in a critical condition for seven days. They told us to take every day as it comes.

"It was horrible. It was the worst thing a parent can go through."

Spencer is now home but is still "top to toe in bandages", said dad Shane. …

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