Pastor grateful for life after gas bottle explosion
Noelia Sounthwell
Noelia Sounthwell

SOME three weeks ago, Noelia Sounthwell was cooking her favourite meal– boiled and fried ground vegetables — on a six-burner gas stove in a rented one-bedroom apartment when a cellphone notification, signalling an incoming message, distracted her.

Then suddenly, there was a loud explosion. It rocked the apartment. Sounthwell was flung across the room, landing on her back against the wall.
An unseen hand, she claimed, seemed to have placed her on her feet before pushing her through the door of the fire- filled room.

Once outside, she screamed for help. Neighbours came to her rescue. Someone called the ambulance, and the dispatcher advised that her body be kept cool until the emergency vehicle arrives.
A neighbour threw water at her, while others attempted to extinguish the blaze in her apartment.

Recounting the incident, the Seventh-Day Adventist pastor said, “My head felt as though it would blow off and my skin was experiencing an unbearable sensation.” She had experienced second-degree burns from her toes to her hip.

Questions as to what had happened, “The gas bottle exploded,” she replied.
Despite the excruciating pains in her legs, which were swollen, she remains very grateful for life and is thankful to God that she could walk again.


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