One of Vancouver Island University’s welding students is in hospital in Victoria being treated for severe burns after an accident at the university’s welding program shop Tuesday. (Screenshot photo taken from Gofundme page)

VIU student severely burned in welding accident

Vancouver Island University welding student in Victoria hospital

A student in Vancouver Island University’s welding program is in Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital where he is being treated for third-degree burns after a welding accident earlier this week.

A GoFundMe page, set up to raise money to support the student and his family during his recovery, identifies the student as Jack Hollas.

Carrie Chassels, Vancouver Island University’s vice-president of student affairs, confirmed a student was involved in a welding accident.

“Unfortunately one of our students on Tuesday in our welding shop was using the welding equipment and his clothing caught on fire and he suffered burns and was taken to the hospital,” Chassels said.

She did not have word about Hollas’s condition.

Hollas had started at VIU’s welding foundations program in September.

Chassels said she did not know what kind of welding method Hollas was practising when the accident occurred and was not aware of any similar incidents in the past.

“We really do emphasize safety throughout the program,” she said. “The students spend the first week of their program intensely learning about safety related to the trade.”

A GoFundMe campaign, set up on Wednesday, the day after Hollas’s accident, has a fundraising goal of $20,000. As of Thursday afternoon it had raised more than $5,300 and the page had been shared on Facebook more than 760 times.

“VIU’s primary concern right now is supporting the student and his family and our students and faculty who are concerned for his well-being are really hoping that he has the best recovery possible,” Chassels said. “VIU is doing some information gathering on our end to make sure that our safety measures are at the highest standards so that we can be assured that something like this doesn’t happen again in the future.”



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

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