British teacher and American friend badly burned in petrol station explosion in Cambodia

Brit Zoe Eleftheriou (left) was badly burned along with Abigail Alexander. Credit: GoFundMe

A British teacher suffered severe burns when a petrol station blew up as she rode past with a friend in Cambodia.

Zoe Eleftheriou, 22, was sat behind American Abigail Alexander on a moped last week in Siem Reap, a resort town in the north-west of the country.

Ms Alexander, 18, was fighting for her life following the blast but her condition is now stable and her family hopes she will be flown back to the States on Wednesday.

Even though the teenager partly shielded Ms Eleftheriou from the explosion, the Brit is still in hospital undergoing daily skin surgery for around an hour at a time.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for both of the victims.

Ms Eleftheriou’s mum Mary has been posting updates on her daughter’s condition on Facebook.

Abigail Alexander is now in a stable condition but still receiving treatment. Credit: GoFundMe

She said: "She is having surgery every day and is struggling with the pain afterwards. Surgery involves cutting away any damaged skin and cleaning her wounds this is about an hour a day.

“They are trying to offer the right amount of pain relief without causing damage to other parts of the body.

“To help this they are going to bring her around two hours after the operation has finished to give the skin time to settle. I'm praying this works.

“She still has tubes in her throat so is unable to speak but the nurses have taped a marker pen to her bandaged arm and she is writing us messages.”

She added Ms Eleftheriou initially tried to communicate by "writing" letters in the air with her bandaged hands.

Her GoFundMe page, set up on Tuesday, has so far raised $170 and has a target of $5,000.

Donors have raised $32,603 for Ms Alexander’s fundraising page, which was launched on Thursday. The page organiser says her overall transportation and medical costs will reach $200,000.

A description on the page reads: “Abbey received burns to over 35% of her body in a gas explosion today. She was riding her moto in front of a gas station when there was a massive explosion.

“We’ve already had thousands in medical bills from treatment and transport costs. She’s been transported to a hospital with a better burn unit and the costs will add up quickly.”

According to an update on the page, Ms Alexander’s white blood cell count has risen and her organ functions are good.

She is kept “pretty sedated” for the pain and is still treated with daily surgery to scrub burns.