AJ Pritchard and Abbie Quinnen break silence over horrific fireball injury that put her in hospital for seven weeks
STRICTLY Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard and Abbie Quinnen have broken their silence on her horrific fireball injury.
As The Sun revealed last night, a blazing wine bottle exploded in the dancer's face and set her hair and clothing alight causing third-degree burns.
The nightmare unfolded while the pair were attempting to recreate an online 'life hack' that involved dipping a rope in flammable liquid.
This afternoon she warned fans in an Instagram message to be "so careful" if copying YouTube videos like she did – saying it left her hospital for seven weeks.
Abbie wrote: "Unfortunately I have had an accident. Whilst we were attempting to create a glass bottle into a vase from following a YouTube tutorial, it went terribly wrong.
"It resulted in me incurring injuries & burns requiring continuous hospital treatment over the past 7 weeks.
"I really need you all to be so careful with what you're doing & if you are copying any YouTube videos. I will be OK! I love you all!"
She added: "I also want to say a massive thank you to the nurses and doctors at the Chelsea & Westminster burns unit for their incredible care and treatment."
Meanwhile, AJ told fans: "It came out that the there was an accident with Abbie. And I just want to say just make it quite brief, to be honest.
"For anybody that hasn't seen the story yesterday where Abby had an accident.
"That's why I'm just saying thank you for all the lovely messages, thank you very much for all the love and support and the kind messages.
"I know we haven't replied to everybody. But yeah, thank you for that. And we will talk about it further down the line when we both feel comfortable."
He added: "So yeah, just thanks for that love. It means a lot on your support, it keeps us all going."
Quick-thinking AJ, 26, doused flames and then dialled 999 – but after being told an ambulance would take a while to arrive, he and brother Curtis drove Abbie to A&E themselves.
A source told The Sun: “Abbie was shocked and in a great deal of pain but AJ sprang into action to put out the fire with a wet tea towel.
“He was terrified himself but he did all he could to stop her from burning.”
Professional dancer Abbie, 23, suffered third-degree burns and doctors fought to save her face and arms from severe scarring.
She has since made 20 hospital visits, needed three skin grafts and fears for her career.
AJ is said to be devastated and has become her full-time nurse — taking charge of dressing her bandages.
The couple were filming a “life hack” video for their one million Instagram followers showing how to cut a glass bottle in half to be used as a vase.
The risky trick involves dipping a rope in a flammable chemical, wrapping it around the bottle and lighting a flame to it.
The couple’s attempt sparked a fireball which engulfed Abbie who was leaning over a worktop.
The bottle blew up and her hair and clothing caught alight.
The source told The Sun: “AJ and Abbie were stuck at home during lockdown and, like many people, started making social media videos to pass the time.
“But this tutorial went horribly wrong. Abbie’s whole upper body went up in flames.
“It all happened very quickly. It was like something from a horror film.”
Emergency 999 operators told AJ that paramedics might take some time to reach their apartment in West London.
So Love Island star Curtis, 25, who lives with the couple, stepped in and drove them to Ealing Hospital on January 19.
Abbie was admitted to intensive care before being transferred to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s specialist burns unit the next day.
A source said: “Abbie was in agony and the brothers knew they had to get her to hospital straightaway to get her burns treated.
“It’s been an extremely difficult and testing time for them but she’s on the road to recovery.”
With Covid restrictions shutting dance theatres, Abbie had been making money as an influencer. She has been off social media since the horror accident.
And together with AJ, she is now urging the public against trying the wine bottle hack — also viewed by 7.7 million people on YouTube.
The source added: “AJ and Abbie want to warn others about the dangers of trying to emulate these sorts of video at home.
“They don’t want anyone else to go through what Abbie has been through or to suffer.
“It’s been an awful time as she’s worried about the future and her career as a dancer.”
Caring AJ has been helping to nurse his girlfriend back to health.
The source added: “He’s been there 24/7 changing Abbie’s bandages and caring for her.
“It’s a delicate job but he just wants to make sure she is OK.”
Abbie’s social media absence had led to some fans questioning if she and AJ were still together.
But the source explained: “She has been suffering in secret and been completely traumatised by this awful accident. She kept off social media as she didn’t want people to know of her injuries.
“She is struggling to come to terms with it all but is grateful for AJ’s support.
“He has been her rock throughout this ordeal and has been giving her a positive outlook.
“Both AJ and Curtis have been helping Abbie get to hospital appointments and assisting with day-to-day care.”
Abbie has been staying at home between skin graft surgeries and going for regular treatments at the hospital. AJ has been supporting her with his TV work.
A spokesman for the couple confirmed: “Abbie has undergone surgery on her upper body and will continue to receive treatment.
“Abbie and AJ cannot thank all the nurses and doctors enough for their incredible care, support and expertise whilst being at Chelsea and Westminster Burns Unit and at Ealing Hospital.”
The couple met when Abbie auditioned for AJ’s Get On The Floor Live tour and The Sun exclusively revealed they were dating in 2018.
Hacks do go wrong… so stop and think
By Ben Griffiths
SAFETY experts urged people to think what could go wrong when following online life hack videos.
Jo Bullock, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “The extent and severity of Abbie’s injuries are shocking when you consider that they happened during a home-craft project.
“We send her our best wishes for a full recovery.
“Social media platforms are full of life hacks that people want to share.
“Most will be able to be recreated at home with no problem. But it’s so important to take a moment to think before deciding whether to copy what you see.
"Think through what could go wrong and what the impact could be so that you are not caught out by the unexpected.
“As this shocking case illustrates, it can take a split second for an accident to happen but very serious injuries can result — and their effects can last a long time.
“When watching a life-hack video, remember the poster may be experienced and skilled at what they are demo’ing.
“They may have all the right tools and safety kit.
“You’ve got to be really honest about your own experience and whether you have the gear.
“We’d advise extra care over anything flammable — as things can get out of control very quickly.”
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