Leicester toddler hit in the face as washing machine explodes
A youngster was hit in the face by a flying drawer when his mother's washing machine exploded, wrecking most of their kitchen.
Mum Sarah Blackshaw, 33, of Braunstone, Leicester, said two-year-old Harry and his four-year-old brother, Charlie, were playing in the kitchen on Thursday afternoon when the appliance blew up without warning.
"There was a terrific bang," said Sarah.
"Harry was facing the washing machine and the front of the drawer hit him just below the eye.
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"I took him to the doctor who said that if it had been an inch higher it would have been right in his eye."
She said Harry, who escaped with a black eye, was now frightened to go into the kitchen.
Charlie was not injured in the incident, but went to pre-school the next morning talking about how the "naughty washer" had hurt his brother, said Sarah.
The explosion blew the sides from cupboards next to the machine, made a large dent in a dishwasher and damaged a worktop.
Sarah said the washing machine's metal drum was dented and all the plastic around it had been completely ripped off by the blast.
"When my seven-year-old daughter, Sarah, came home from school, she couldn't believe what had happened," she added.
"It was like something from a war zone."
"I remembered that two Indesit models, the WIXL143 and WIXE 167, had been reported on the BBC programme Watchdog as having faults, but when I checked on the company site there was nothing about my machine, a model IWC 6165," said Sarah.
Watchdog says on its website that it has received "a number of complaints" about exploding Indesit washing machines.
It says that one customer, in Suffolk, heard an "almighty bang" and when she went to investigate found that "the top of the machine had been raised, the front dials had been pushed out of the machine, the door had been blown open and the impact of the force had lifted the top of the kitchen cabinet and moved her oven", while "inside, the drum had come loose and was left buckled and twisted".
Sarah contacted Indesit and was told her damaged washer would be collected and she would be given a free replacement.
"They asked me to get quotes from carpenters about the damage to the kitchen," she said.
"The problem is, if I am given a new Indesit washer, who is to say the same thing won't happen with that one?
"There was no warning about my previous machine, which I bought about two years ago, so how can I be sure the replacement will be safe?"
An Indesit spokesman said: "We were sorry to hear Ms Blackshaw has experienced a problem with her washing machine.
"Our customer service team has been liaising closely with her in order to resolve the matter and ensure that she is satisfied with the outcome. We take all customer inquiries seriously and deal with each on a case by case basis. We would like to inform consumers this problem does not affect any Indesit models on sale today."
Watchdog advises anyone who owns the models in its programme, WIXL143 or WIXE167, or has any concerns, to contact Indesit customer services on 01733 287 843 or by e-mailing: