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Norwich woman's washing machine blows up

Sally Baker's washing machine which blew up in her face.

Sally Baker's washing machine which blew up in her face.

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A Norwich woman was hurt when the top of her washing machine blew off during a spin- and trading standards is now investigating whether more people could be at risk.

©Albanpix.com-Picture by Alban Donohoe
Sally Baker from Norwich with her new washing machine after her old one blew up in the kitchen
Sally in the same place she was in the kitchen when the machine blew up and hit her

Mother of two Sally Baker, 36, from Holworthy Road, Bowthorpe, suffered bruising to her back when fragments of a sideboard flew across the room and said only a worktop saved her from the full force of the blast.

Mrs Baker said: “I was only standing about 6ft away from it so I was lucky, but it was awful. It was like an explosion.

“My first reaction was to run away. I was not looking at the washing machine when it happened, so it was even more out of the blue. “Nothing had previously gone wrong with the machine, even though I had had it for about three years.”

Meanwhile, the Candy company has been criticised for refusing to recall thousands of its washing machines amid reports that some have exploded.

Mrs Baker, who runs her own printing company, added: “I’m extremely concerned about it, as it could kill somebody. If my children had been standing next to the washing machine at the time, it could have been much worse.

“I don’t think Candy is doing enough to alert people. I bought mine at Comet in Norwich for £200, so others in the area must have bought the same model.”

Norfolk Trading Standards is probing the incident, which comes after five Candy machines blew up in Germany. All were caused by a weak drum-seam failing.

Senior trading standards officer Ann Jackson said: “We started our investigation within an hour of receiving Mrs Baker’s call, just after it happened on December 8 last year.

“Our officers have been working with Bolton trading standards, which is the nearest to Candy’s base and is meeting the company.

“We are still awaiting the outcome of that meeting. Our main concern is ensuring public safety.”

Meanwhile, despite similar allegations involving other high-spin models, Candy has not recalled any of the models.

A spokesman for Candy said: “A tiny fraction of washing machines produced before September 2009 have experienced a failure of the drum, due to a failure in the drum seam on high spin.

“The manufacturing issue was indentified and resolved in September 2009. The likelihood of failure on any machines produced before this date remains very low.

“Naturally, we have shared all the technical data, risk analysis and statistics with the relevant regulators and the issue is not one that requires a recall to be arranged.

“We are always very concerned if a customer experiences a problem with any of our machines and we will of course act quickly to resolve the matter in timely and reasonable manner.”

<t> Are you pursuing a case with trading standards? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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