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Ethanol 'insect repellent' sends woman up in flames

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Ethanol 'insect repellent' sends woman up in flames
John Tann/Creative Commons
09:45 CEST+02:00
A father trying to protect his family from insect bites saw his wife go up in flames in front of his eyes after he tried to use ethanol as an insect repellent.

The 52-year-old father had been sitting on the terrace of the family home in Wernberg in the district of Villach with his 44-year-old wife and their 13-year-old son when the incident happened.

Thinking he could use it as insect repellent, he had opened a bottle of the 96% ethanol.

Upon being opened, the bottle immediately set alight and the flames spread over the man's wife who was nearby.

As the woman went up in flames in front of her husband and son, they desperately tried to put out the fire, eventually pushing her into a shower where they doused her with water.

The severely burnt woman was then flown to Klagenfurt hospital by air ambulance to undergo treatment. The husband was also treated nearby for burns, although his injuries were less severe.

Police believe that a lit tealight on the table may have set the extremely flammable liquid on fire.

New mosquito spreads in Austria

It's insect season in Austria and experts warn that a new species of mosquito is spreading around Austria and other European countries.

According to the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, large swarms of the Asian bush mosquito - which was not found in Europe until a few years ago - are spreading around Austria.

Scientists say this invasive, day-biting and highly reproductive mosquito has  established itself in southern, south-western and western Austria, and it is constantly invading new areas.

Although a nuisance, experts say the insect is rarely a carrier of disease. “This annoying insect is not usually considered to be a carrier of pathogens, although we cannot exclude the possibility as a vector for West Nile or Dengue," says Norbert Nowotny, from the Vetmeduni Vienna.

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