Things got literally hot in this hot pot restaurant located in the city of Wenzhou, in China’s Zhejiang Province, wherein a sumptuous meal turned deadly in a flash.
If the date and time indicated on the CCTV footage are correct, it was a seemingly uneventful Tuesday afternoon in this restaurant, with what seemed to be a couple enjoying their meal. As with Chinese hot pot restaurants, there is a burner in the middle of the table on which food can be cooked right then and there before eating.
In the middle of their lunch, the man stood up and asked for a waitress to take care of something. She later came over with a big bottle of liquid, moved some things over to make space, and then started pouring the contents of the bottle into what was apparently an opening.
Then, all of a sudden, the liquid ignited and shot out like a flamethrower, setting off a cone of fire that engulfed the customers. While the man was able to reflexively push himself out of the way, his companion wasn’t so lucky. Like the food she had been consuming seconds before, she got cooked as she writhed on the floor in agony.
The contents of the jug turned out to be alcohol, which is definitely flammable. Presumably, the flame under the grill must have been weakening, which prompted the male customer to request a top-up. Unfortunately, the waitress did not exercise caution by turning off the burner before refilling.
Both customers and the waitress were rushed to the emergency room soon after, and it likely wasn’t the last thing to get hot in that restaurant as questions needed to be answered, hospital bills needed to be paid, and perhaps even a few heads needed to roll for what happened.
As a public service, please be advised to practice fire safety by putting out all sources of flames and sparks when handling combustible materials. After all, you’re supposed to cook your food — not yourself.