Fears deadly LPG huffing craze could sweep country
Kiwis are being urged not to partake in a "dangerous", "idiotic" and potentially deadly craze that's sweeping Australia.
Terrifying footage has emerged of two men inhaling LPG gas from barbecue bottles before holding their mouths up to flames and breathing out fire.
The dangerous stunts show fire engulfing the men's heads as they breathe into exposed flames.
In the first video, a Queensland man is seen huffing from the LPG bottle before breathing into a firepit. The man, whose mouth catches fire, is seen running away in fear before showing off in front of the camera.
In a second video, captioned How to be a dragon, a young man is seen sitting around a table, inhaling toxic fumes from the gas bottle before putting a lighter to his mouth and breathing out flames.
A man can be heard saying "he's throwing flame throwers down his mouth" before a group laugh at the risky stunt.
There are now fears the stunt, which has been described "idiotic, highly dangerous and potentially deadly", could sweep New Zealand after Kiwis have been sharing the videos and encouraging others to "give it a go".
"Get our hands on a bottle and we'll crack into it Friday night? Keen?" one person wrote.
Others have described the dangerous stunt as "pretty styley", "lit", and called those who oppose it "a bunch of sooks".
A spokesperson for New Zealand Fire and Emergency told the Herald the consequences of the stunt are "not worth it", and explained those who attempt it risk severely damaging their eyes, lungs, carbon monoxide poisoning, and could suffer serious or deadly burns to their body.
The spokesperson said they have yet to receive a call over the dangerous stunt, and hopes they'll never have to.
Huffing LPG can cause dizziness, coughing, nausea, vomiting, skin irritation, fever and numbness.
Prolonged exposure can lead to a coma, stroke and death, according to numerous health and government websites.
When LPG is inhaled and exposed to flames, it can cause internal burns to airways and lungs, as well as other severe internal injuries and death.
A Ministry of Health spokesperson told the Herald that reckless use of volatile substances could kill.
"The misuse of volatile substances such as LPG is extremely dangerous and unwise.
"Wrongful and reckless use of volatile substances, even those with a legitimate purpose such as LPG, can be life-threatening."
In 2013, Otago man Simon James Garrick was found decomposed in a caravan in a Cromwell camping ground after he died while "huffing" LPG.
The coroner determined Garrick died of asphyxiation in the caravan between October 30, 2012 and October 10, 2013, after inhaling LPG.
"Some gases inhaled have components which are toxic and these can cause death or disablement. Gas inhaled can also cause death by displacement or the oxygen content of air. LPG in the lungs is incompatible with life."
In 2012 a Kiwi teen was left in an induced coma with 36 per cent of his body burned after the LPG canister his friend was huffing from exploded in Mosgiel, Dunedin.
Witnesses heard several explosions, which blew tiles off the roof, displaced walls, smashed windows and sent debris flying across the street.
A third bottle exploded minutes later with such force it was found embedded in the wall.
At the time, Senior Sergeant Gavin Briggs said the tragedy was a reminder of the extreme dangers involved.
"This incident has had terrible consequences for the two young men involved. The message is simple: gas is an extremely dangerous and risky substance to play around with: don't do it."