DIY Popcorn Machine Explodes In Girls Faces

Story By: John FengSub-EditorAlex Cope Agency: Asia Wire Report

Video Credit: AsiaWire

A teenage girl is fighting for her life after a DIY popcorn machine made from a drink can exploded in her and her friend’s faces.

Zhou Zhe, 14, and neighbour Peng Xiangyu, 12, both remain hospitalised at Zaozhuang Municipal Hospital following the accident on 22nd August.

Picture Credit: AsiaWire

Xiangyu escaped with less serious injuries, but the hospital reported that Zhou Zhe sustained burns to 96 percent of her body – 75 percent third-degree burns and 21 percent second-degree burns.

The two friends were reportedly at the younger girl’s home in the village of Liangxinzhuang, which is in Zaozhuang City in East China’s Shandong Province, when they decided to try and make their own popcorn.

They found an empty drink can and reportedly followed instructions seen in so-called ‘life hack’ videos popularised on Chinese video-sharing platforms such as Tik Tok and Kwai.

Video Credit: AsiaWire / Kwai

The clips show vloggers cutting open a soft drink or beer can and placing it on a makeshift stand, after which popcorn kernels and butter are added inside.

The modified drink can is then heated from below by burning rubbing alcohol or ethanol, creating fresh popcorn in seconds.

Picture Credit: AsiaWire

Xiangyu revealed that on their first attempt, they lit the alcohol but failed to turn the kernels into popcorn.

Before they extinguished the flames, they are said to have poured more alcohol into the can, causing an explosion.

The girl’s reportedly used a two-litre bottle of 90-percent alcohol for their experiment.

Images from the hospital show Xiangyu’s arms and legs covered in bandages, and cream having been applied to her face.

Picture Credit: AsiaWire

Meanwhile, her neighbour has reportedly had all her hair seared off and is breathing with the help of tubes.

Zhou Zhe’s older sister, Zhou Jing, revealed the family has since paid over 100,000 RMB (11,380 GBP) in medical bills, and are now turning to local crowdfunding websites for assistance from the public.

The specific video from Tik Tok which the girls were attempting to imitate has since been removed by the user, reports said.

The girl’s father told local media: “My daughter asked me: ‘Are my injuries serious?’

“I said no, they aren’t.

Picture Credit: AsiaWire

“She said: ‘I feel sad. Will I die?’

“I replied: ‘Don’t worry. Medicine is very advanced nowadays, so you won’t die.’

“Then she said: ‘Dad, I don’t want to die,’ and my heart couldn’t take it.

“I told her I wouldn’t give up.”

Live-streaming platform Tik Tok, which is known in Chinese-speaking markets as ‘Douyin’ has not commented on the incident.

Picture Credit: AsiaWire / Kwai

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John Feng

I am a senior journalist and editor, and have worked for a number of different news agencies over the last decade. I am currently editor-in-chief of the Asia Wire Report news wire.