France probes reported death from whipped cream explosion

(Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS (AP) — French authorities are investigating the death of a fashion blogger reportedly hit by an exploding whipped cream canister that was withdrawn from the market in 2013, officials and the company that makes the product said Thursday.

The prosecutor’s office in the eastern city of Mulhouse said that an investigation is underway into Saturday’s death of Rebecca Burger and whether a faulty siphon on a high-pressure canister used to make and dispense whipped cream was at fault. The prosecutor would not comment pending further investigation.

Consumer magazine 60 Million Consumers reported that the victim was hit violently in the chest by the exploding canister, and said that led to a heart attack. The magazine said it had been warning for years of such risks after dozens of incidents, but this was apparently the first death reported.

The manufacturer of the kitchen product, Ard’time, said the product has not been on the market since a “first incident implicating a siphon” in February 2013. Products were withdrawn from the market and destroyed, a company statement said, and other efforts made to alert consumers.

“Unfortunately, there are still lots of siphons of all brands that remain potentially dangerous as time passes,” the company said.

The consumer magazine said that incidents have been occurring since at least 2010. “We are up to 60 accidents” that have been reported, said the deputy editor of 60 Million Consumers.

“It is, to our knowledge, the first time there has been a death from such an explosion. … We knew it would happen one day,” Benjamin Douriez said by telephone.

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