Birthday night nearly fatal

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A clubgoer celebrating her 18th birthday nearly died after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen.

Gaby Scanlon, 18, from Heysham, was taken ill during a night out in Lancaster.

She had been out with friends last Thursday evening, October 4 and reported feeling breathless after drinking a cocktail at Oscar’s Wine Bar and Bistro.

She then developed severe stomach pain and was taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary at about 11pm.

There she was diagnosed with a perforated stomach and underwent emergency surgery to remove her stomach.

She is currently in a serious but stable condition.

She tweeted on social media site Twitter from her hospital bed: “I nearly died.”

Doctors said she would have died if the operation not been carried out urgently.

Management at Oscars Wine Bar and Bistro, which served the drink said in a statement they could not comment due to the probe.

But they added: “We are tremendously concerned for the person involved and our heartfelt, best wishes go out to them and their family at this distressing time.”

Councillor Paul Aitchison, chairman of Lancaster City Council’s Licensing Act Committee, who at 20 is one of the country’s youngest councillors, said that he was at the same bar a few months ago and tried the Nitro Jagermeister drink.

He said: “I heard about this story and I was quite shocked because I have actually tried it myself.

“It was quite scary to think that it could have possibly happened to me.”

The committee will be discussing the issue, he said.

A Lancashire Police spokesperson said: “The premises involved have fully cooperated with all agencies and have suspended drinks involving liquid nitrogen.

“This is a tragic and life changing incident for an 18 year old girl who was celebrating her birthday.

“The use of liquid nitrogen in bars is not illegal, however, we are continuing to look into the matter and will be working closely with our partners from other agencies.”

The force said it was the first incident of its kind it had dealt with.

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris said: “Firstly, my thoughts are with Gaby and her parents at this truly horrific time.

“I am incredibly angry that such a drink has seriously injured one of my constituents, that is one constituent too many.

“I would like to see these drinks banned from sale so we do not see anyone else’s son or daughter injured or even killed.

“Additionally, I think it is right to praise the staff at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the emergency services who saved Gaby’s life.”

Liquid nitrogen has become popular for the making of some elaborate cocktails, with Heston Blumenthal among the most high–profile chefs to use it for culinary purposes.

The liquid form of the gas can be used to flash–freeze substances, and some bars use it to chill glasses or freeze ingredients, producing a dramatic–looking grey vapour.

Numerous recipes for liquid nitrogen cocktails can be found on the internet but the substance can cause serious cold burns and should never be ingested.