CHARLOTTE, 22, WAS OUT CELEBRATING HER BIRTHDAY WHEN HER FRIENDS SPLASHED OUT ON AN EXOTIC COCKTAIL FOR HER.
BUT WHAT WAS MEANT TO BE A SPECIAL TREAT TURNED INTO A NIGHTMARE WHEN THE ‘FLAMING LAMBORGHINI’ – WHICH IS SET ON FIRE BEFORE BEING DOWNED – EXPLODED IN CHARLOTTE’S FACE.
HER WHOLE HEAD WAS ENGULFED IN FLAMES – TURNING HER INTO A HUMAN FIREBALL.
SHE SUFFERED FIRST AND SECOND DEGREE BURNS AND HAS NOW WON A THREE-YEAR LEGAL BATTLE AND BEEN AWARDED COMPENSATION FROM THE BAR, WHICH HAS SINCE SHUT DOWN.
– Charlotte couldn’t wait to head home from university for the weekend to celebrate her 19th birthday with ten of her best friends.
– She was bringing her boyfriend, Joe, now 22, back to meet them for the first time.
– The group were planning on heading around the town centre on a boozy bar crawl.
– Starting out at a local pub, they stayed for one drink before heading to Charlotte’s favourite bar at 9.30pm.
– A tradition among the group is to buy the birthday girl an expensive cocktail as a treat, so the girls wasted no time in rushing up to the bar.
– They ordered Charlotte a £15 ‘Flaming Lamborghini’, which is set alight before being drunk.
– A few of them had the drink on their birthdays and all was perfectly fine.
– But Charlotte was still nervous about drinking it and didn’t like the idea of it being set on fire.
– The barman handed her a normal straw instead of a longer party one, so she was nearer to the flames as she took a sip.
– The mixture of Blue Curacao, Sambuca and Bailey’s tasted revolting and she grimaced with her eyes closed.
– A shot glass was held above a tower of glasses, as Sambuca was poured into it until started overflowing.
– It is then meant to be set alight once the pouring has stopped, and supposedly meant to taste better.
– But the barman lit the drink as he poured the Sambuca causing the litre bottle of alcohol to EXPLODE in Charlotte’s face.
– There was an almighty bang and the bottle shattered into a thousand pieces, Charlotte was showered in shards of glass.
– What she didn’t realise was that her face and hair was engulfed in flames – turning her head into a FIREBALL.
– She had spritzed her hair with hairspray as she was getting ready, which only aided the blaze further.
– Her waist long hair went up in flames straightaway and she clamped her hand to her ear not realising it was on fire.
– All Joe and her friends could do was slap her to try and pat her out, but Charlotte remained alight for 12 seconds.
– Fortunately she closed her eyes when she was drinking, as doctors and surgeons later told her that if she had not she would have been blinded.
– Despite her eyelids being firmly shut, Charlotte recalls seeing orange flickers.
– An ambulance was called as her friends performed first aid.
– And the excruciating pain began to sink in as the shock wore off.
– In hospital Charlotte discovered she had suffered first degree burns to her hands and second degree burns to her face.
– After six hours of being smothered in Vaseline to try and cool the burns, she was bandaged up and allowed home.
– It took six months for the horrific burns to heal and Charlotte bravely went back to university.
– She was terrified of going on a night out and when she joined her housemates in town she suffered from panic attacks and had to leave early.
– After a three year legal battle, Charlotte has now been awarded compensation from the bar’s owners and the venue has shut down since the incident.
– Charlotte said: “When I was on fire all I kept thinking was that I was going to die.
– “It felt like a lifetime, but it only took about 12 seconds to put the flames out.
– “The pain was indescribable and when it started healing it became incredibly irritating and itchy. It felt like severe sunburn.
– “It took six months to recover physically from what happened, but even now when I see someone with a cigarette and a drink in their hand I worry it will set alight.”