A British teacher and her American colleague were seriously injured when a petrol station exploded on a street in Cambodia.
Zoe Eleftheriou, 22, from Medway, Kent, and Abigail Alexander, 18, from Miamisburg, Ohio, were hit by the blast while riding a motorcycle together in Siem Reap last Wednesday.
Both women suffered severe burns and their families are facing mounting medical bills while police track down the owners of the illegal petrol station which suddenly blew up.
Dashcam footage from a nearby car shows how the gas station burst into flames when a tanker truck carrying 440 gallons of petrol ignited while delivering the fuel to a storage tank, injuring 13 people.
Explosion: This is the moment an illegal petrol station violently explodes in a street in Cambodia, badly injuring 13 people including a Briton and an American
Zoe Eleftheriou (left), 22, from Medway, Kent, and Abigail Alexander (right), 18, from Miamisburg, Ohio, were hit by the blast while riding a motorcycle together
Ms Eleftheriou’s mother, Mary, said: ‘I arrived beside Zoe to find her bandaged back up and still with tubes down her throat. It was explained they were still there because of the swelling on her neck and the rest of her body.
‘The second doctor that spoke to me said her swelling was more than they would have expected so they are monitoring her for infection. Thanks to your prayers no infection has appeared yet which is a blessing.
‘Yesterday she started the first of many surgical operations to remove dead skin which could come infected if left.
‘She is able to nod and shake her head to questions or write letters in the air with her bandaged hands but trying to guess what she is saying is pretty hard.
‘Zoe is a fighter and will pull though this so please keep her and Abbey in your prayers.’
Dash cam footage from a car shows how the gas station suddenly burst into flames – hitting passing motorcycle riders who were knocked to the ground from the force of the explosion.
The British and American teachers were the only foreigners injured in the blast, which also seriously wounded 11 locals.
Another CCTV camera shows the view from the other side of the street as the petrol station explodes (seen in the top left of this image)
Abigail Alexander in hospital where her mother said she is currently in a critical condition in an intensive care unit and breathing with a ventilator
The family of Abigail Alexander (pictured) are now desperately raising funds for her with a GoFundMe page that has already raised $25,000 (£21,000)
Zoe Eleftheriou (left with her mother Mary) and Abigail Alexander (right with her mother Erin) are in hospital and their families are facing mounting medical bills
Erin Alexander, mother of the American teenager, said that her daughter is currently in a critical condition in an intensive care unit and breathing with the help of a ventilator.
She has yet not been transported to a better hospital in Thailand because of the mounting medical bills and transport costs.
Her family are now desperately raising funds for her with a GoFundMe page that has already raised $25,000 (£21,000).
Ms Alexander said: ”This was such an awful accident. My daughter was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
‘Abbey received burns across more than 35 per cent of her body in the explosion. Her blood-work is becoming worse and she will be needing skin grafts.
‘She has been transported to a hospital with a better burn unit in Cambodia and the costs are already adding up quickly.’
Dashcam footage from a nearby car shows how the gas station burst into flames when a tanker truck carrying 440 gallons of petrol ignited
The British (left) and American (right) teachers were the only foreigners injured in the blast, which also seriously wounded 11 locals
She added: ‘The cost will be higher as we plan to move her to either Thailand or the U.S., so I set up the raising money account hoping that somebody would notice and help her.
‘So far, we have received countless messages offering money and kind words. There are also multiple fundraisers happening in Siem Reap on Abbey’s behalf. ‘
We’re hoping to have her moved to Thailand soon. Thank you everyone for all they have done for us and all that has been donated.’
Brigadier General Phing Sambath, deputy police chief of Siem Reap province, said 12 fire trucks with 30 tanks of water were used to extinguish the blaze.
He said: ‘A total of 13 people, including police officers, guards, and female westerners, were wounded in the blast.’
The police are gathering evidence and searching for the owner of the gas station who was not at the shop when officers arrived to begin investigation.
Major General Neth Vantha, National Police Fire Prevention Department director, said that according to investigations, the explosion was caused during the transfer of gas from the tanker into the storage tank.
He added: ‘The transfer was done improperly and some gas leaked. The station owner asked the staff to turn off the electricity and there was a sudden [blast]’.