ESPN's Hannah Storm Ready to Return After Horrible Gas Grill Explosion

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterDecember 31, 2012

Photo Credit: Florida Today
Photo Credit: Florida Today

An accident that left ESPN's Hannah Storm without eyebrows, eyelashes and only half her hair has just come to light.

The Associated Press (h/t SportsGrid) reports the 50-year-old SportsCenter anchor was home three weeks ago when a propane gas tank exploded in front of her, delivering first-degree burns to portions of her face and neck. 

Thankfully, it seems she is doing just fine and is ready to return to reporting sports news for the Worldwide Leader:

ESPN anchor Hannah Storm will return to the air on New Year's Day, exactly three weeks after she was seriously burned in a propane gas grill accident at her home.

Storm suffered second-degree burns on her chest and hands, and first-degree burns to her face and neck. She lost her eyebrows and eyelashes, and roughly half her hair.

As the report issues, Storm will be a part of ABC's broadcast of the 2013 Rose Parade, which she recently confirmed on her Twitter account:

Especially thankful this New Year's! See you tomorrow on the Rose Parade! #RoseParade RT @espnprdscott bit.ly/HannahNewYears.

— Hannah Storm (@HannahStormESPN) December 31, 2012

A story that is already remarkable on account of the injuries Storm sustained becomes all the more peculiar when you consider the high-profile sports anchor was able to recover with privacy. 

After three weeks, the news that she was injured is just now being reported, giving Storm a modicum of comfort not usually afforded to TV personalities. 

Per the report, Storm was preparing dinner in her Connecticut home on Dec. 11 when the flame on the grill she was using went out:

She turned off the gas and when she reignited it "there was an explosion and a wall of fire came at me."

"It was like you see in a movie, it happened in a split-second," she said. "A neighbor said he thought a tree had fallen through the roof, it was that loud. It blew the doors off the grill."

While she seems to be doing a great deal better, the report issues she did not come away completely unscathed. 

She sustained some rather frightening injuries, including first-degree burns to her face and neck, second-degree burns to her chest and hands and had her eyebrows, eyelashes and roughly half her hair singed off. 

Despite the severity of the burns, Storm put the incident into perspective:

I didn't see my face until the next day and you wonder how it's going to look. I was pretty shocked. But my overarching thought was I've covered events with military members who have been through a lot worse than me, and they've come through. I kept thinking, 'I can do this. I'm fortunate.'

The report issues a great amount of schedule shuffling took place to give Storm time to heal, and she stayed home through the break, except for a Christmas Eve mass. 

After the terrifying accident, Storm will return to work shortly. That is truly something to be thankful for heading into the New Year. 


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