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Girl burned in cocktail fireball

View profile for Pauline Smith
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I read about a case recently, of an 18 year old girl, Charlotte Swaby, who suffered burns as a result of an alcoholic cocktail that had been purchased for her in a bar "exploding" in her face.  The incident, which occurred over three years ago, took place in a Barnsley bar which has since closed down.

Charlotte was out celebrating just before her 19th birthday with friends, who purchased her the £15 "Flaming Lamborghini" cocktail made with Sambuca, as a birthday treat. The spirit is poured from the top of a tower of stacked glasses, and then lit while being drunk through a straw.  Unfortunately, the flames engulfed Charlotte's face, burning her ear, her hair, and the side of her face and leaving her with second degree burns and permanent scarring. She was lucky to escape with her sight because she was grimacing at the taste of the drink, and had her eyes closed when the fumes ignited.

Charlotte said that she didn't think that the waiter was particularly experienced, and provided her with a normal drinking straw rather than a longer, party straw, meaning that her face was much closer to the cocktail when it started to burn.  After a three year legal battle, Charlotte has finally won an undisclosed amount of compensation from the owners of the bar.

This story comes hot on the heels of the recent case of the poor girl having her stomach removed due to drinking a cocktail with liquid nitrogen in it. It does seem that pubs and clubs are indulging in ever more extreme gimmicks to get the punters through the door. While I'm pretty sure that there is no requirement for clubs to have a "setting alcoholic drinks on fire" licence, it is no doubt a very dangerous practice, and one has to hope that venues do take a sensible and responsible approach to providing entertainment for young and impressionable patrons.

By personal injury executive, Pauline Smith