A pre-Chinese New Year celebration with friends turned into a bloody ordeal Sunday after a tempered glass tabletop spontaneously disassembled into a storm of food, scalding cookware and glass shards.
Several people had to be hospitalized with cuts and burns from the incident, according to a now-viral post yesterday by the host of the calamitous dinner, Stephanie Chu. Photos show broken glass strewn among prawns, soup bowls, and vegetables on the floor. Chu said she was among those treated at the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
“After the incident happened, all of us sat there in shock, and we couldn’t do anything as there were glass shards and hot soup everywhere,” she wrote. “[W]e immediately called the ambulance and paramedics came down to rescue us. With all my guests injured, some with cuts bigger than the size of an eye. I myself was brought to [Ng Teng Fong] for treatment of 2nd degree burns.”
Comfort Design, which sold Chu the table, told Coconuts Singapore today they believed the incident resulted from “thermal stress” on the glass due to “inappropriate equipment” being used on it.
“Hotpot equipment 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,” the company said in a written reply.
Chu also cited thermal stress as a possible cause of the breakage but insisted that the tempered glass, which she said was 15 millimeters thick, was “supposed to be tough.”
Chu added that Comfort Design would not pay for her medical and repair expenses but offered to replace the broken glass after she reported the incident to it last night.
Comfort Design spokeswoman Grace Shen told Coconuts Singapore it had discussed monetary compensation with Chu’s husband, Low Yong Chin but failed to come to an agreement as he had asked the company to “bear the full exten[t] of the damage.”
Chu and Low had not responded to Coconuts Singapore’s online inquiries by publication time.
Her post had been shared nearly 20,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon. Some images showed graphic images of gashed feet and bandaged legs.
Shen denied the cuts were due to its glass as it is designed to “break into granular chunks instead of sharp pieces.”
“The cuts that were seen in the pictures were, chances are, caused by the broken cutlery,” she said.
Chu said she was traumatized again by her dining horror upon returning home from the hospital.
“When I came home from [the hospital] last night, I broke down and cried when we opened the door. My house is in a mess and it smells like a crime scene of a murder. But well … thankfully it was not during the actual CNY, where elderlies and babies/children could have been severely injured,” she wrote.
More news from the Little Red Dot at Coconuts.co/Singapore.