WARNING: This article contains images that some readers may find disturbing.
Cassie Hodges is the mother of three children and lives near Sydney, Australia. One Friday evening, her partner Mark had been preparing a homemade soup for dinner but as he had started late on the task, he opted to use their Casera-brand pressure cooker to save time.
He had selected the soup option on the settings menu and walked away. About 25 minutes later, Cassie came into the kitchen holding her 12-week old son and noticed that the soup was ready. She called to Mark to let him know and took the baby in the lounge. While the final dinner prep was underway, she told her daughters to come to the table.
With Cassie standing by to help carry bowls to the table, Mark pushed the pressure release button on the pressure cooker and — as normal — steam began to escape. But then there was a loud click — something definitely not normal — and before she knew it, Cassie was hit by the top of the pressure cooker as it blew off the top of the machine. At the same time, she was suddenly covered in scalding hot soup. Although Mark had also been scalded on his arm and stomach, Cassie's situation was more urgent, so, ripping off her clothes, she ran to the shower to get under the cold water as quickly as possible.
Mark and Cassie called emergency services and were taken by ambulance to the hospital. Cassie had extensive and severe burns on her arms, chest and abdomen.
Reporting the incident on Facebook as a warning to others, Cassie described what happened next:
"I was told I had to have all my dead burnt skin removed by scraping with a rough towel and biobrane (a pig skin/fat tissue) applied immediately, with just endone and panadol I went ahead, I have never felt such pain in my life. They then bandaged me up and now day 4 I'm laying in bed knowing It will be yet another painful night."
Mark's burns covered less of his body, but because he was not able to get under the cold water as Cassie had, they were also deep and very painful.
As she was unable to take care of the children while in the hospital, one of Cassie's friends stepped in and looked after them.
Cassie feels grateful for one thing: that the accident happened after she had taken her baby out of the room. There's no telling the extent of the tragedy that could have occurred had the infant been there when the cooker exploded.
She wants to warn others who might have the same brand of pressure cooker in their home.
"I want the one I used recalled and I want people to be aware of the dangers, we did nothing wrong the machine unlocked prematurely, it should stay locked and unable to be opened until the pressure is all gone. Please share this far and wide and throw your cookers out, or better yet, demand a refund... I want to make sure this never happens to anyone ever again."
Cassie's post was widely shared on social media. Hopefully her warning will help prevent a similar or even worse tragedy from occurring again.