PARIS — French authorities are investigating the death of a fitness blogger reportedly hit by an exploding whipped cream canister that was withdrawn from the market in 2013, officials and the company that makes the product said Thursday.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 an investigation is underway into Sunday’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 exploding canister hit Burger violently in the chest, causing her to suffer 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.
Burger’s family announced her death on Burger’s Instagram account — followed by some 169,000 accounts — and added a photo showing a dismantled example of the type of whipped cream canister that “struck the thorax.”
Authorities have the actual device that hit the popular blogger, her family said.
Voici un exemple de siphon à chantilly qui a explosé et percuté le thorax de Rebecca, entraînant son décès. Précision : le siphon qui a engendré sa mort quant à lui été mis sous scellé. N'utilisez pas ce genre d'ustensile chez vous ! Plusieurs dizaines de milliers d'appareils défectueux sont encore en circulation.
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 Products were withdrawn from the market and destroyed, a company statement said, and efforts were made to alert consumers.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, 60 Million Consumers Deputy Editor Benjamin Douriez said.
“It is, to our knowledge, the first time there has been a death from such an explosion. … We knew it would happen one day,” Douriez said.