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Family's washing machine blows up, sends mom to ER

"If a child had been in front of it the outcome would have been deadly."

There's probably nothing more mundane – or seemingly safe – than doing a load of laundry at your house.

But for one central Minnesota mom, it turned into a possible near-death experience when her washing machine exploded in front of her recently.

Luckily, Sara Van Beck of Freeport walked away from the incident with only a few injuries, but now she's hoping people will take a second look at their laundry room appliances. 

She described her ordeal in a Facebook post over the weekend:

"This week my 3 year old washer exploded sending me across the room with its force," Beck explained, saying she was washing her children's clothes at the time.

According to the post, trouble started when she heard a loud "whistling noise" coming from her family's Whirlpool Duet. She went to investigate and intended to turn off the machine, "but I got as far as the utility sink and it exploded sending ball bearings and pieces at me."

The blast knocked her off her feet and left her with a head injury, resulting in a trip to the ER. A brain scan later found she had suffered a concussion, and there were also "issues" with her sinus and one of her feet.

Beck says she was reluctant to go public about the incident at first, but realized that "if you can ever help prevent further freak accidents then it is worth sharing."

Her Facebook post has since gone viral, having been shared more than 8,200 times.

What caused the explosion?

That's not clear yet. 

GoMN reached out to Whirlpool regarding the incident, and received the following statement:

We are in contact with the consumer and are in the process of exchanging the washer (and the dryer) so we can analyze what happened. Although we cannot speculate about what happened with this particular product, Whirlpool is committed to delivering safe, innovative products to consumers. –Kristine Sherman, Whirlpool Corporation spokesperson 

So, in other words, Whirlpool is looking into why this happened, and giving the Beck family a replacement washer/dryer for their trouble. 

Beck's post also mentions that "a man died in Texas" under similar circumstances. While we couldn't find any news sources supporting this, there was a federal class-action lawsuit filed over exploding washing machines last year. 

But that was concerning machines made by Samsung, and there don't seem to have been any reports of injury or death. 

GoMN has reached out to Beck regarding the incident. 

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