19-year-old killed, others burned after explosion at Argentina bar

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A 19-year-old Argentinian woman died in a freak accident on her first night out at a bar since the coronavirus crisis gripped the country — when a heater exploded and engulfed her in flames, dramatic video shows.

The footage shows a waitress at Zar Burgers in San Miguel, outside Buenos Aires, refueling an open-flame centerpiece on the table with alcohol to keep Lucia Costa and her friends warm while they were enjoying a drink Friday.

Seconds later, the centerpiece explodes, engulfing several people and a table in flames as they frantically flee the bar.

Costa died as a result of her injuries and eight of her friends between the ages of 18 and 20 were seriously burned, local news outlet La Nación reported.

Costa’s mother, Lorena, told the newspaper that “nobody did anything” at the restaurant to save her daughter while demanding “justice” for her and the woman’s friends.

An investigation into the deadly incident is ongoing, but three people have been charged with “culpable injuries” and “culpable homicide,” including the bar’s owner, a manager and a waitress, according to La Nación, citing a report by Télam news agency.

Costa’s uncle, Maximiliano, told C5N his niece was killed during her first night out with friends since the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe.

“They were sitting at a table that had a centerpiece with flames and one of the waitresses approached with a five-liter can of alcohol to recharge this kind of torch,” Costa’s uncle told the station.

“The can exploded and this burning fuel soaked those who were around, especially Lucia who received the worst of all this.”

The bar, meanwhile, has said in a statement to the newspaper that it “deeply regrets” the deadly incident while promising to work with investigators.