Customers suffer burns after hand gel mixed up with drain cleaner

Customers suffer burns after hand gel mixed up with drain cleaner

Photo: JBL&G  Photo: JBL&G

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – At least two people have suffered burns to their hands after a bottle of hand gel was accidentally filled with drain unblocking fluid at a branch of Ikea.

Eight customers and staff were injured when they used the liquid to disinfect their hands at the Haarlem branch on Saturday evening. Two of the victims also suffered burns and breathing difficulties, while others had less severe wounds.

A spokeswoman for the furniture chain said a cleaner mistook the abrasive solution for hand gel, which was stored in a similar container. ‘We understand that everybody is badly shocked, as are we,’ she told Noordhollands Dagblad.

‘We deeply regret this incident. It was a genuine case of human error.’ A police spokesman said the bottle of hand gel was refilled by ‘a cleaner who isn’t fully fluent in the Dutch language.’

At least one man and one woman who were affected have contacted personal injury law specialists JBL&G about possible compensation. ‘Their doctor diagnosed first-degree burns the next day, open wounds and swollen hands,’ said a spokesman for the firm.

‘They are unable to work at present, but the worst thing apart from the pain is that they cannot rub anything on their hands. Not even disinfectant liquid, just when it’s being used frequently because of the threat of corona.’


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