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Baby fights for life as boiling pipes burst

A NINE-MONTH-OLD baby was fighting for her life last night after being boiled alive when hot water pipes burst above her cot.

Tiny Rhianna Hardie suffered 85 per cent burns when she was sprayed with scalding water as she slept in her council home.

Doctors have told the baby's family her injuries are so severe she may die at any time within the next six months.

Rhianna was scalded on the second night the family spent in their new council house in Taunton, Somerset.

The baby's parents heard a loud bang coming from her room and found boiling water pouring from pipes on to the child's cot below.

She was taken to Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital but her injuries were so severe she was transferred to a specialist ward at Bristol's Frenchay Hospital.

Doctors have told the family that the next four weeks will be critical in Rhianna's fight for survival.

The baby's grandmother Kathleen McKenzie, 47, also from Taunton, said: "This is a tragedy - I cannot put into words how we feel.

"My daughter, her partner and their two girls had moved in on Friday.

"The accident happened little more than a day after they first walked through the door.

"The ceiling fell down on her cot and she was covered in water. The water was hotter than a kettle. She was boiled alive.

"The main thing is that she is still here. She's a real little fighter and that has got to bode well for the next few weeks.

"Her mum and dad have been at the bedside continually.

"The family would just like to thank everyone for being so kind to us during this difficult time.

"We would ask that people think of Rhianna and hopefully their positive thoughts will help her pull through."

A spokeswoman for the Health and Safety Executive confirmed it was assisting with the police investigation.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "We are satisfied that there are no suspicious circumstances but we are still working on a full investigation with the Health and Safety Executive."

A spokeswoman for Taunton Deane Borough Council said: "We are currently awaiting the conclusions of the investigation. It is a tragic event and our thoughts are with the family."

A discarded child mattress and duvet propped up against a garden wall at the family's semi-detached council house were the only clues to the terrible accident last Sunday.

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27th November 2006, 0:00
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Page updated 5th Oct 2015, 13:25
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