Kent teacher relives Cambodia petrol station explosion


A teacher says she “hates her face” after suffering horrific burns in a petrol station explosion in Cambodia.

Backpacker Zoe Eleftheriou had been riding past the garage in Siem Reap on a motorbike when it erupted and burst into flames.

The 22-year-old and her friend Abbey Alexander were both badly injured and asked nearby people for help.

Cambodian police found the petrol station was unlicensed.

The explosion happened when a tanker truck was delivering fuel behind a building in a busy street full of motorists and pedestrians on 14 August.

One person died and another 13 were seriously injured.

Miss Eleftheriou, from Rochester, Kent, watched as Miss Alexander rolled on the floor as her clothes burned.

She said: “It just went ‘boom’. I saw the fire in front if us and it came all the way back.

“We ran to the Cambodian people and said we needed help. Unfortunately all they did was take out their smart phones and take videos and pictures.”

Miss Eleftheriou was treated at a nearby clinic before being transferred to a hospital in Thailand where she began to come to terms with her injuries.

Her treatment has cost £200,000, but was covered by her £350 travel insurance.

She now has regular appointments at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.

She said: “When I came to Thailand it was the first time I could see my face and I hated it. I really hated it.

“I still don’t like it now. I can’t go to Asda and do a weekly shop and I can’t go to a nightclub.

“Even at a hospital where you expect to see a strange looking person like myself, I can’t have my head up and I will have my face down.”


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