Glass In Unused Microwave Explodes, Injures Woman
*DALLAS (CBS) ― *A woman in north Texas suffered injury to her arm when the glass of her microwave oven spontaneously exploded next to her, even though the applicance was not running at the time.
According to Winona Smith, her General Electric Microwave was three days old and had never been used, reports CBS station KTVT-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth.
The 79-year-old says she was in the kitchen, stirring a pot of green beans on her stove, when the glass door spontaneously shattered - blowing flying glass across the room.
The explosion was so loud Smith says it left her “stone deaf” and her arms bleeding.
*According to Smith, a lab analysis shows the sound of the explosion was more than 130 decibels - that’s as loud as a jet engine. The entire episode makes Smith so nervous that for a long time she wouldn’t go into the kitchen. *
GE representatives say Smith’s microwave was manufactured by LG electronics for General Electric - GE model #JVM1631-BJ01.
According to GE, what happened to Smith is rare but does happen. GE states this is the fourth report of glass spontaneously exploding in that particular model. The company says Smith is the first person to report an injury.
GE states it has sold 770,000 of the microwaves. Smith is now suing GE in federal court for allegedly selling her a defective microwave with defective glass. In its answer to the lawsuit, GE blames Smith for misusing the microwave, though the device was not turned on when the glass exploded.
“[On the] Holy Bible I swear. It happened and I don’t know why,” Smith said. “I did not touch it and it had never been cooked it.”
Glass spontaneously exploding is not unusual. Bill Lingnell, an engineer for nearly 40 years, is a glass expert.
According to Lingnell, the energy stored inside microwave glass, to make it strong, is so great that stresses in installation or production can cause it to explode at a later date.
“After time, it might get a little bit tired of holding that [energy], and then it would release some energy in there,” said Lingnell. “That would cause it to fracture and give the illusion of possibly an explosion.”
Since 2002, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports 35 incidents of microwave glass spontaneously exploding, with five reported injuries. By law the commission cannot release information on the brands involved until it first talks to the manufacturer.