A ‘house proud’ mum from Salford was left in shock after her dining table ‘spontaneously exploded’. Angela Dunbar, 64, of Swinton, was upstairs in her home when she heard an ‘almighty bang’.
The gran-of-ten said the noise was so loud she thought a car had crashed outside her house before spotting the glass dining table had ‘exploded into a million pieces’. “We had just done the school drop-off and I had gone upstairs,” Angela told the MEN “All of a sudden, I heard an almighty bang. It sounded like something had crashed outside – it was like a massive explosion.
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“Me and my husband ran to the window but there was nothing there. He went downstairs to have a look and said to me ‘You better come and see this’. I can’t even describe what it looked like, it was as if the table had literally just exploded. It was shattered into a million different pieces. There was glass everywhere, there was nothing left of the table whatsoever.”
Angela, a former childminder, said she still has no idea how the table managed to explode. She said she bought the table around two-and-a-half years ago from Housing Units, a home department store based in Oldham.
After the incident, Angela said her first reaction was to get in touch with the shop to figure out what had happened but, despite leaving voicemails, she said her calls went unanswered. “I was just in shock,” she added.
“All I kept thinking about was what if this had happened at another time? Our lad could have been doing his homework at the table or something. We have ten grandchildren so what if it happened during Sunday dinner when everyone was sitting around? It doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Angela says she eventually got a response from the store after repeatedly calling and even visiting the shop. She said the store then told her there was nothing they could do about it because the warranty on the table had expired.
“It took us nearly a week of trying to get through before they just said there was nothing they could do about it,” Angela explains. “They said this has never happened before and they have never received any reports of anything similar but there’s always a first time.
“Two-and-a-half years isn’t a long time to have a table. We are very proud house, we look after our things. That table didn’t even have a scratch on it, it doesn’t get abused. I don’t even let anyone put a glass of water on it without a coaster.”
Upset at the response from Housing Units, Angela and her husband, Chic, tweeted the store in a bid to get more clarification on the situation. In one tweet, Chic said: “We have not moved the table since we bought it. I am a retired OAP & we look after our possessions, the table was in pristine condition & had no damage or chips. It does worry me that it could do this without warning. I’m very grateful that my grandchildren were not sat near it.”
In response, Housing Units said: “Damage is likely to occur if the glass is struck by a hard object or moved by dragging as this causes stress to the glass. As the table has been in your home for nearly 3 years, this could not be classified as a manufacturing fault.
“Instances of glass products shattering are rare, but toughened glass is actually designed to shatter into lots of small granular pieces when damaged. This is a safety feature to reduce the risk of injury, as it doesn’t form large jagged shards like normal glass.
“In rare instances, if toughened glass is damaged – for example by chips and scratches – it can lead to the glass breaking, seemingly of its own accord. Damage to the glass (not always visible) can get worse over time until it reaches a critical point when it may shatter.”
Angela said she thought their response lacked an understanding of the situation. She added: “They’ve just taken no responsibility – they haven’t even said sorry or anything, they’ve just basically told us it’s now up to us to sort out ourselves.
“We’ve shopped with them for 20 years and spent a fortune with them. Now I feel like we’ll never go there again. We’ve been left without a table and a big empty space in our kitchen – and we’re still discovering pieces of glass around the house a week later.”
In a statement, Housing Units told the MEN : “We were concerned to hear about the issue with a table that was purchased from Housing Units several years ago and are glad to hear that no one was injured. We have been in contact with the customer and have provided some reasoning behind why this has may have occurred from the information supplied to us. We are continuing to work with the customer to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.”