THE teenage hairdresser who died when her car exploded in flames had broken up with her boyfriend the day beforehand.

Jennie Mitchell, 19, died at the scene despite the heroic efforts of two Polish workers who were beaten back by intense flames.

The Shaftesbury teen had just cleared out the remainder of her belongings from the caravan she shared with ex-boyfriend Russell Andrews, whom she had planned to wed, when the tragedy unfolded on the morning of March 9.

Her Mini, packed with clothes and hair care products, exploded in an “instant inferno” as she drove away from the caravan at Thorn Hill Farm, near Stalbridge.

Ten minutes prior to her death, Miss Mitchell had an “emotional” conversation with Mr Andrews, who eventually discovered her fate after spotting smoke curling into the sky and rushing to the accident site.

Witnesses Jan Jozef Kaczowka and Pawel Andrzej Kubala, who were working at a nearby property, heard the muffled explosion and ran to help.

The pair, who were not at yesterday’s inquest, were praised for their bravery by West Dorset coroner Michael Johnston.

In a written statement read to the hearing, Mr Kubala said: “I heard a muffled, powerful bang and I saw a car going quite fast along the main road.

“I ran up towards the road and saw the car in flames 20 or 30 metres away.

“I heard a woman scream but I couldn’t see anyone inside. Flames and smoke were billowing out of both windows.”

Both he and Mr Kaczowka tried to rescue Miss Mitchell but were shocked by the intensity of the fire.

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Marcus Hester later said: “I have never seen a car so destroyed by fire.”

Mr Kubala added: “I feel broken-hearted about being so close and not being able to help the poor woman.”

Subsequent investigations into the cause of the explosion proved inconclusive.

Investigators were only able to conclude an explosion had occurred inside the car, due to the ignition of an unknown inflammable vapour.

Whether this was a cocktail of hairdressing products or fuel vapour from a damaged fuel pipe remains unknown.

Mr Johnston recorded an open verdict.