A 65-year-old woman’s oxygen supply blew up in her face as she tried to light a cigarette, causing her to have a heart attack. The inner city Dublin woman died almost instantly.

Mary Kearney was at her home off Waterford Street, Dublin when in incident took place after midnight on February 24th last year. She had been taking oxygen for three years as she had developed emphysema.

The Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that Kearney had been lighting at cigarette which would have caused the explosion.

Her son, John Jnr, said his mother had been very stressed at the time, due to her brother’s recent death.
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Speaking to the Coroner’s Court her husband John said that he had brought her some water just 20 minutes before the incident and she seemed in “good form”, according to the Irish Times report.

He told the court that he heard a loud bang and then heard the fire alarm sound. He checked the oxygen concentrator, downstairs, and it was still working.

Upstairs he found her lying face down. Her face was black. He moved her to the bed where he attempted CPR.

Kearney was taken to the Mater Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Quality manager for the air concentrator company, Air Products Ireland said the fire had been localized to the nasal prongs due to the concentration of oxygen. He said there was no problem with the machine itself. He said the only way the accident could have happened way if the nasal area was exposed to direct flame.

However the explosion had not caused her death. Coroner Dr Brian Farrell explained that the post-mortem had shown that Kearney was suffering from severe heart disease. He said the shock of the explosion had caused a massive cardiac arrest.

The court returned a verdict of death by misadventure.