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ESPN's Hannah Storm, Burned in Grill Accident, Returns to TV

By Andrew Lu on January 02, 2013 10:36 AM

Hannah Storm hosted the Rose Parade yesterday, her first on-air appearance since she suffered severe burn injuries on Dec. 11.

The ESPN anchor suffered first- and second-degree burns to her face, hands, chest, and neck in a propane gas grill accident at her Connecticut home, reports Yahoo! News. She also lost half her hair in the accident as well as her eyebrows and eyelashes.

While Storm appeared fine during the telecast, she did remind viewers of the seriousness of her injuries by stating that she was wearing a wig and had on fake eyebrows and eyelashes. Storm still has scars on her neck, and she has to keep the burn areas away from direct sunlight for at least six months.

As the television personality heals and waits to return to her regular gig as anchor on "SportsCenter," Hannah Storm has taken the opportunity to shed light on the safety of propane gas grills.

The accident happened when Storm was preparing dinner at her home. She noticed the flame on her propane grill had gone out. She turned off the gas and when she reignited it, there was an "explosion and a wall of fire" that came at her, writes SportsGrid.

Storm was able to tear off her burning shirt and used another part of her shirt to extinguish the flames that engulfed her head and chest. Her daughter called 911.

Anytime you are working with propane gas, there is a risk of injury from fire and explosions. To reduce the risk of injury, there are some safety tips a user may want to keep in mind, according to the National Propane Gas Association. For example:

  • Always use the grill outdoors in well-ventilated areas.
  • Make sure the gas grill is off and completely cooled before covering it.
  • Check for leaks before lighting the grill.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes near a grill.
  • Store propane tanks in cool areas.

It's not clear if Hannah Storm's injuries were caused by user error or by a defect in the grill itself. If a defective design was responsible for the explosion, Storm may be able to bring a product liability lawsuit against the propane grill manufacturer.

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