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Japanese man triggers explosion at home after using insecticide to kill cockroach

Japanese man triggers explosion at home after using insecticide to kill cockroach
PHOTO: Pexels

A man caused an explosion at his home in the southern Japanese city of Kumamoto after spraying a large amount of insecticide to kill a cockroach.

The incident occurred at around midnight on Dec 10, according to a report in the Mainichi Shimbun.

A balcony window broke as a result, and the man suffered some minor injuries, the media outlet added.

Investigations revealed burn marks near a "kotatsu" heating table, which is a low table with a special futon placed over it. An electric heater is usually attached underneath.

Japan's National Consumer Affairs Centre has received several reports of such explosions, Mainichi reported, without specifying a timeframe.

They are believed to be ignited by sprayed insecticides coming into contact with electrical outlets or other sources.

Spraying pesticides at electrical outlets can damage them and consequently injure people, according to several pest removal companies.

Many sprays contain flammable ingredients, including alcohol.

They also contain propellants such as propane and butane, which help push the liquid insecticide out of the can and into the air, according to a report by online magazine Slate.

If a room contains the right mixture of these propellant gases and oxygen, an explosion might occur.

In 2016, three people were injured in a blast at a New Jersey home after fumes from a bug spray built up and ignited.

An occupant had sprayed insecticide in the roach-infested apartment and opened a window afterwards, NBC New York reported.

The combination of oxygen from outside, the bug spray's fumes inside the apartment, and a stove's pilot light caused the explosion. It blew out the apartment's windows and damaged the kitchen.

The home was said to still be crawling with cockroaches when firefighters arrived, the NBC report said.

ALSO READ: Explosion rips through building in downtown Tokyo; 4 injured

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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