Video Credit: AsiaWire
This is the viral moment with over 17 million views a lighter in a hot pot cooker on a Chinese restaurant table suddenly explodes drenching a waitress and the customers in boiling soup.
The incident occurred in a restaurant belonging to the hugely popular Haidilao Hotpot chain in the city of Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan Province and was recorded by a CCTV camera.
Local media report the two customers, who have not been named, were eating a traditional hot pot dinner when one of them accidentally dropped a lighter into the boiling liquid.
They asked a female wait staff to try and retrieve it for them and in the video she can be seen fishing through the hot pot with a pair of metal spoons looking for the lighter.
She cannot find it and suddenly the hot soup erupts, flying high into the air, covering both her and the customers. She sprints away and the customers jump out of their seats.
Local media report all three were taken to hospital with burns.
Asked whether Haidilao would be pursuing damages from the customers, the restaurant said: “The customers suffered burn injuries too, so our priority at the moment is caring for the injured.”
There are no updates on the condition of the victims.
As one of the most popular hot pot chains in Asia, Haidilao owns some 300 restaurants, including chains in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, as well as in England, Canada, the United States and Australia.
Haidilao spokeswoman Yang Xibei: “The two male customers were passing the lighter to each other during their meal, accidentally dropping it into the pot.
“The customers suffered minor burns on their hands, and the soup splashed onto the waitress’s face. She was taken to hospital by a colleague and she is recovering and being cared for.”
Netizen ‘Zheng Guo’ commented: “I feel like those two guys did it on purpose to bet the servant would salvage the lighter. No respect at all!”
And ‘Xin Qing’ added: “It looks so painful! Those guys must compensate them!”
While ‘Rou Jiang’ wrote: “Why were they using a lighter? Isn’t it illegal to smoke in public areas? And it’s a restaurant!”