TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Video has surfaced of a vat of boiling hot pot broth explode on a waitress as she tries to fish out a lighter a customer had dropped in the scalding hot cauldron.
On May 15, three guests were enjoying a spicy hot pot at a branch of the popular hot pot chain Haidilao in the city of Kunming in Yunnan Province, reported ETtoday. According to the person who uploaded the video, a male customer had apparently accidentally dropped their cigarette lighter inside the hot pot and the waitress offered to try to fish it out.
In the video, a woman dressed in white can be seen calmly and methodically trying to scoop the lighter up with two ladles. Suddenly, the lighter explodes, and the entire scorching contents of the hot pot vat fly into the air
The two customers on the left are also struck by a tidal wave of spicy, searing soup, while the third customer makes a run for it. Other similar videos of lighters causing explosions at hot pot restaurants have popped up recently.
After the incident, the manager of the restaurant immediately had the waitress taken to a hospital for medical treatment, according to local media reports. When asked by reporters if the customer who dropped the lighter should be held liable, Haidilao responded by saying that its first priority was making sure the injuries of the customers and waitress are properly treated.
The manager said, "Because the burner below the hot pot had just been switched off, the temperature was still about 200 degrees [Celsius]," reported TVBS. Generally speaking, cooking hot pot broth averages around 120 degrees Celsius and food items are about 100 degrees when they are first taken out.
Video of the incident:
Many Chinese netizens felt sorry for the waitress and had harsh words for the owner of the lighter:
"What in hell are you doing with a lighter next to a hot pot? It should be the customer who is burned."
"You shouldn't be smoking inside the restaurant."
"Service also needs to have its limits."
"I feel sorry for the employee. It looks very painful. I hope it doesn't leave any scars on her face."
"Drops a lighter in a hot pot and then has the nerve to ask the waitress to retrieve it."
"It's painful to watch, but their awareness of safety is too low."
"This showed a lack of common sense. First of all, you have to turn off the power supply."
"None of them have common sense. They don't know that flammable lighters will explode when heated?"
"This store manager has no experience. In the future, a standard operating procedure will be written. First, take the guests to another table. Then place a lid over the cauldron and take it to the kitchen."
Slow motion video of the incident:
Animated GIF of the explosion being shared on social media: