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Teen's death highlights solvent danger

Published: 7:00AM Wednesday November 01, 2006 Source: One News

Solvent abuse experts say the death of a teenager in Blenheim after a gas explosion highlights the dangers of youth experimenting with substances to get high.

Eighteen-year-old Thomas Hillman and four mates were sniffing LPG from a gas bottle in a car on Monday night, when someone lit a cigarette, creating a fireball.

Hillman died and the other four are in hospital with burns.

Drug abuse experts say while it is an extreme case of substance abuse going wrong, this kind of behaviour among young people is common.

Ross Bell of the New Zealand Drug Foundation says many abusers are aware of the risks, but there have been a handful of cases where inhaling LPG has resulted in death.

Hillman's death has been reported to the coroner.