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Nitrogen Cocktail Teen Has Stomach Removed
A teenager has had her stomach removed to save her life after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen.
Gaby Scanlon began feeling breathless after consuming the drink at Oscars Wine Bar, in Lancaster city centre, during a night out with friends on Thursday.
The 18-year-old then developed severe stomach pain and was taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary at about 11pm.
Medics diagnosed the girl with a perforated stomach and were forced to perform emergency surgery to remove the organ, Lancashire Police said.
The girl, from Heysham, remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition, the force added.
Officers have launched an investigation into the incident.
A number of witnesses at the night spot where the drink was bought are being interviewed by police and the licensed premises has stopped selling drinks containing the chemical.
Liz Nicholls, the principal at Ms Scanlon's school, the Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy, described the teenager as "one of our most hardworking and mature students".
"Gaby is one of our most hardworking and mature students who had simply gone out for a quiet birthday celebration," she said.
"Our whole school community is shocked and upset at what has happened. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gaby, her family and her friends, who are obviously upset and distressed."
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."
Oscars Wine Bar said in a statement: "This unfortunate incident is part of an ongoing police investigation and as such we cannot make any comments other than to say that we are tremendously concerned for the person involved and our heartfelt best wishes go to them and their family at this distressing time."
Lancaster city council said environmental health officers attended the premises with police officers on Friday afternoon.
"As a precaution and with the full cooperation of the owners of the premises, using powers under the Health & Safety at Work Act, the city council formally prohibited the bar from serving drinks containing liquid nitrogen," it said in a statement.
"The council also took possession of the liquid nitrogen equipment on the premises.
"When Lancashire Constabulary concludes its investigation the council expects to take the lead role and continue investigating what happened and whether offences were committed."