Bloody mess after glass table shatters during reunion dinner
Steamboat dinner at home turns into 'traumatic experience' as host and guests suffer cuts and burns
To kick off the Chinese New Year celebrations, Ms Stephanie Chu and her husband invited friends over on Sunday to their new home for a steamboat "reunion dinner".
Unfortunately, the night did not turn out well.
About 30 minutes into dinner, Ms Chu's eight-month-old tempered glass table suddenly shattered into pieces, injuring six of the seven people at the dinner. Hot soup from the electric steamboat spilled everywhere.
"It was as if my dining table 'exploded'," Ms Chu, 28, who said she suffered cuts and second-degree burns on her feet, told The New Paper yesterday.
She was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and discharged with medication that same evening.
The others were treated by paramedics at the scene. Her husband escaped unhurt.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said it received a call for medical assistance at Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 at about 7.50pm on Sunday.
Said Ms Chu: "It was supposed to be a joyous gathering among friends. But it ended up being one of the most traumatic experiences.
"I broke down after reaching home that evening. My house looked like a crime scene - there was blood everywhere."
Ms Chu said she shared the incident on Facebook to warn others who might be having steamboat at home during Chinese New Year.
She is seeking $3,000 compensation, including medical bills, from Comfort Design, the company she bought the table from.
But the company is willing to compensate only $500, said Ms Chu, who had earlier declined the company's offer to replace her table top.
When contacted by TNP yesterday, Ms Grace Shen, the sales director of Comfort Design, said: "We would like to uphold our position where we think that our company and our product are not to be blamed for the accident, as it was not used within its intended scope."
She added: "Hotpot should not be used directly on tempered glass tables, as glass is a bad conductor of heat. Glass is not designed to withstand high temperature."
When contacted and told about the case by TNP yesterday, Mr Gary Lee, the business development manager of Singapore Safety Glass, however, disagreed with the furniture company's claims.
Said Mr Lee: "It is highly unlikely that the glass break is due to thermal stress, as glass can withstand high heat. Normally, tempered glass can withstand up to 290 deg C."
He added that glass has been known to shatter due to spontaneous breakage.
Said Mr Lee: "Spontaneous breakage can happen due to many reasons; some of the common ones are bad quality glass with impurities such as nickel sulphide in it, other common (reasons) are chips or bad edge on glass."
Mr Lee said that although tempered glass is a type of safety glass, it can still cause cuts due to the fragments and force, but the damage will be reduced.
"For those using glass tables, I suggest checking your glass tables regularly. Check for edge damage or chips, these will cause the glass to weaken," he said.