Cab driver, 42, is left with horrific burns after using hand sanitiser then sparking a lighter

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A taxi driver has been left with horrific burns after hand sanitiser solution created a terrifying ‘fireball’ in his car. 

Brian Hutchinson had just sanitised his hands when he noticed a lighter had been left by a passenger on the back seat so decided to spark it to test if it worked.

The 42-year-old, from Newcastle, said the flame ignited the still-wet solution on his hands, which quickly spread to his legs and head.

He suffered major burns that resulted in multiple operations and skin grafts during the last seven weeks at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, which he said was like ‘going to hell and back’.

The brave dad-of-two, who put his own safety on the line to carry passengers during the pandemic, said he went into shock before the paramedics arrived and couldn’t stop shaking.

Brian Hutchinson, 42, from Newcastle, a taxi driver who was left with horrific burns after a hand sanitiser solution created a terrifying 'fireballl' in his car

Brian Hutchinson, 42, from Newcastle, a taxi driver who was left with horrific burns after a hand sanitiser solution created a terrifying ‘fireballl’ in his car

He was immediately given morphine but said: ‘When that wore off I knew about it – the pain was horrendous.’

Mr Hutchinson faces a long road to recovery and has to wear pressure garments on his skin, possibly for years to come.

Now, finally back at home from hospital, Mr Hutchinson has relived the day the horrific accident happened.

He said: ‘I had just been cleaning the vehicle while waiting for a job offer. ‘I noticed there was a dropped lighter in the back seat off my car, I had just sanitised my hands so rubbed the palm on my leg to dry them, but the tops of my hands were still wet.

Mr Hutchinson before the incident, he faces a long road to recovery before he will be able to work again - and has to wear pressure garments on his skin, possibly for years to come

Mr Hutchinson before the incident, he faces a long road to recovery before he will be able to work again – and has to wear pressure garments on his skin, possibly for years to come

Mr Hutchinson had just sanitised his hands when he sparked a lighter left by a passenger on the back seat, the flame ignited the solution

Mr Hutchinson had just sanitised his hands when he sparked a lighter left by a passenger on the back seat, the flame ignited the solution

Mr Hutchinson before the incident

In recovery at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle

Mr Hutchinson before the incident (left) and in recovery at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle (right)

‘I picked the lighter up and sparked it to see if worked. ‘The back of my hand then caught a light, then as I went to open the door to throw the lighter, my other hand caught a light, then there was like a fire ball inside the car that hit my face and went over my head.

‘It lasted literally seconds but as you’ve seen from the pictures it has left me worse for wear.

‘I have been hospital for 7 weeks I have had skin grafts on both hands, on my head, and ears.’

Mr Hutchinson taking gas and air for the 'horrendous' pain the major burns have caused

 Mr Hutchinson taking gas and air for the ‘horrendous’ pain the major burns have caused

The 'fireball' spread to his legs, he had wiped his hands on his legs to dry them after sanitizing

The ‘fireball’ spread to his legs, he had wiped his hands on his legs to dry them after sanitizing 

Mr Hutchinson said the hand sanitiser was made up from a mixture of different solutions he had bought over the past few months and added to one bottle to keep in his car.

He added: ‘I was buying loads from different places and putting it into a bigger bottle as it was easier to put on due to being a taxi driver.’

Mr Hutchinson’s second child, who is now just five weeks old, was born while he was still in hospital.

Mr Hutchinson's left at the start of his recovery

owards the end of his stay in hospital after seven weks (right)

Mr Hutchinson’s left at the start of his recovery (left) and towards the end of his stay in hospital after seven weeks (right)

He added: ‘I want to say a big thankyou to all the staff on Ward 37 burns unit at the RVI, I appreciate everything they have done for me.’

Mr Hutchinson has been left unable to work due to his injuries and a fundraising page has been set up to help him cope financially in these already difficult times. 

A GoFundMe page has been created to raise funds for the driver after the freak accident. 

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