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THE NATION | IN BRIEF / AND FINALLY . . .

A Mix of 'Cocktail' and 'Firestarter' Ends Badly

April 20, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

At the Iowa City, Iowa, college bar Et Cetera there was clapping and cheering as bartenders--showing off a trick of the trade picked up in Acapulco--poured rum on the bar top and set it ablaze. But the flickering line of fire got out of control and at least six people were burned, police said.

"All of a sudden, there was a huge fireball. . . . The whole group [against the bar] started screaming," said Scott VandenBusch, a student from Franklin, Wis.

The bartenders could face criminal charges after investigators review whether fire codes were violated, officials said, adding that the bartenders apparently expected the flames to burn out quickly.

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