Councillor and licensing chief tried nitrogen cocktail that left teenager in serious condition (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Councillor and licensing chief tried nitrogen cocktail that left teenager in serious condition
1:44pm Monday 8th October 2012 in News
A young councillor and licensing chief in a city where a teenager needed an operation to remove her stomach after consuming a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen has said that he has also tried the drink.
Gaby Scanlon, 18, began feeling breathless after having the drink in Oscar's wine bar during a night out with friends in Lancaster city centre on Thursday.
She developed severe stomach pain and was taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary at about 11pm.
Medics diagnosed her with a perforated stomach and were forced to perform emergency surgery to remove the organ, Lancashire Police said.
It is understood that Miss Scanlon, from Heysham, was out celebrating her 18th birthday.
She remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition, the force said.
Paul Aitchison, chairman of Lancaster City Council's Licensing Act Committee, said that he was at the same bar a few months ago and tried the Nitro Jagermeister drink.
Mr Aitchison, who at 20 is one of the country's youngest councillors, said: "I heard about this story this morning 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.
"I thought it sounded interesting, that's probably one of the draws. You assume the drinks served in licensed premises will be safe.
"I didn't have an adverse reaction to it. Unfortunately Gaby has and my heart goes out to her and I hope that she gets better."
The committee will be discussing the issue, he said.
"I am sure they are allowed to sell the drink. I am pretty sure that there will now be a national debate on the safety of liquid nitrogen."
Police say they are investigating the incident.
A number of witnesses at the wine bar are being interviewed by police and the premises has stopped selling drinks containing the chemical.
A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said: "Medical opinion is that this would have proved fatal had the operation not been carried out urgently.
"The investigation is still in its early stages and we are still interviewing witnesses to establish the full facts.
"The premises involved have fully co-operated with all agencies and have suspended drinks involving liquid nitrogen."