By The Courier-Mail
ROCKHAMPTON, Australia - A man from the Royal Australian Air Force suffered life-threatening third-degree burns after a portaloo exploded Monday at an airport Down Under -- an incident connected to an ongoing US-led military exercise in the area, The Courier-Mail reported.
Officials believe the man was using the portable toilet (also known as a port-a-potty) at Rockhampton Airport, in the state of Queensland, when he lit a cigarette.
"There was some sort of explosion," a Department of Community Safety spokeswoman said. "He suffered burns to his head, face, arms, chest and airways."
The man, whose identity was not released, was taken to the Rockhampton Hospital in a serious condition.
A spokeswoman from Talisman Sabre 2011 -- a US-led exercise supported by Australian forces -- confirmed the explosion was a military incident but said no further information was available at this stage.
"I can confirm that an incident has happened but we're still gathering information," the spokeswoman said.
There has been speculation that methane build-up in a portable toilet could cause it to explode -- however that theory was not proved when tested by TV science show "Mythbusters."
On Saturday officials revealed nine Australian soldiers involved in the exercise were injured when an armored vehicle rolled down an embankment at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, north of Rockhampton.
Talisman Sabre features land, sea and air training throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory, and is designed to improve combat training, readiness and interoperability. This year's exercise -- the fourth Talisman Sabre -- involves some 22,000 personnel and runs until July 29, according to Stars and Stripes.
Read more: couriermail.com.au
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