Woman held after 'acid attack' in Bristol pub burns 24

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The Independent Online

Twenty-four people were taken to hospital with burns after a suspected acid attack on a pub, police said yesterday.

Avon and Somerset police believe a "strong acid" was thrown over drinkers who had been celebrating a landlady's birthday at the Inkerman pub in the St Paul's area of Bristol during the early hours of Sunday morning.

The victims were treated at Bristol Royal Infirmary suffering from superficial acid burns to their faces, hands and arms and from the effects of inhaling fumes from the substance. Four people were later transferred to a specialist burns unit at Frenchay Hospital where they remain.

Avon and Somerset Police spokesman Paul Gainey said: "Police believe that a person came into the pub and threw some sort of corrosive substance. Twenty four people were taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary and Frenchay Hospital with burns.

"The majority of victims have now been released from hospital, but it is believed that four people, including the suspect, are still being treated for burns."

A 25-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the attack. Mr Gainey said the suspect was "seriously ill" and was being treated in a specialist burns unit.

"A woman has been arrested but she is not well enough to be questioned. She is in a serious, but not life threatening, condition," he added.

The attack took place after regulars had celebrated landlady Lois Harris's birthday but it is believed she had left before the incident.

Ms Harris was unavailable for comment yesterday but one pub customer, who asked not to be named, said: "It was awful. People were just enjoying themselves on a Saturday night when there was suddenly all this commotion.

"Everyone was holding their faces and crying."