Police and firefighters wearing protective breathing apparatus were called to the Thai Cottage Restaurant, D'Arblay Street, Soho to defuse a really hot chilli dish prepared by chefs. The dish, called Nam Prik Pao, was too hot to handle, and customers and staff alike had to run for cover.
Restaurant supervisor Supranee Yodmuang said:
"We've never made a chilli dish this hot before. We used green chillies, red chillies, yellow chillies and the famous chillies which are too hot to have any colour. We made it for one of our patrons who ordered the hottest dish on the menu. It is even hotter than tindaloo curry, which is itself hotter than vindaloo.
"It wasn't until our patron had taken his first bite that he realised how hot it was. He face went purple, his hair stood on end and he started breathing puffs of smoke like a dragon. Within seconds, he was on fire, he collided with other customers, the flames spread and we had to call for fire engines, an ambulance and the police. The police called the bomb squad."
Firefighters had to spray customers for up to half an hour to douse all traces of the chilli fire. Several were admitted to hospital with minor burns though all but the original patron have since been discharged. One doctor said:
"We are treating a male patient for internal combustion. Many of his arteries have been burned. What was he, a circus fire-eater?"
Police confirmed that the remnants of the chilli have been taken to forensic laboratory for examination to make sure that they are safe and that the dish was not terrorist-linked. A Chief Inspector at the Metropolitan Police in London commented:
"We thought there was a terrorist incident so we arrived at the restaurant packing heat. Turns out that some pussy had ordered a dish that was too hot for him. Big deal. My fellow officers and me eat Nam Prik Pao for breakfast and we don't complain."