A woman is feared to have been left blinded after two men threw acid at her outside a bar. Police are now studying CCTV in a bid to hunt down the offenders, who immediately fled the scene after launching the attack. The victim, a long-haired brunette woman aged 37, was rushed to hospital after suffering severe burns to her face, neck, back, legs and arms.
Onlookers told how she rushed screaming towards two nearby doormen for help following the attack. One horrified witness, who asked not to be named, said: “The acid was in her whole face and eyes – she’s probably going to be blinded. “Her face looked like it was melting – it was quite clear there was a lot of damage. She said it was two men.”
The incident happened in Guildhall Square, close to Turtle Bay, a Carribbean bar and restaurant in Southampton, Hants, last night. Assistant manager Adrian Rodgers, 27, who treated the woman for 10 minutes before paramedics arrived, described her injuries as “horrendous”.
“She was in tremendous pain and the burns were horrendous – I have never seen anything like it,” he said. “I was constantly rinsing her face and mouth with cold, iced water and applying burn packs but they only soothed her temporarily. “She was slumped on the floor and being held by her boyfriend who seemed to be in a state of shock. “She could not see and her breathing was steady but very shallow.
“We did the best we could. When the paramedics turned up they said we had done the right things and within 30 seconds they had rushed her off to hospital.” Another worker from the bar said: “Our doorman was splashed with the acid, it landed on his leather jacket and burnt a hole in it, reaching the skin.” “The acid burnt right through her leggings. It was awful.” It is believed at least one of the attackers was known to the victim. Police described the incident as “rare and isolated”.
Firefighters called to the scene washed an estimated quarter of a pint of acid away from the pavement. A Hampshire Police spokesman said: “The woman was taken to Southampton General Hospital with significant burns to her face, neck and arms. “This is an isolated rare occurrence and anyone with information is asked to call police.” A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service said an ambulance was called to Guildhall Square at 9.11pm where a woman was assessed and taken to hospital.” Commenting on the attack in Southampton, Twitter user Ed Hooley wrote: “A woman has been attacked with acid outside Turtle Bay; her face took serious burns.”
“Feel so bad for the girl who had acid thrown on her face in Southampton last night. Hope she is ok! “It was right by Turtle Bay. People must have seen it happen, it’s just so awful! There are some real creeps out there.” Another eyewitness added: “Girl was a victim to an acid attack outside turtle bay in Southampton and her face has melted, pray for her recovery, far too close to home.” Acid attacks are on the rise in Britain. Victim report figures released through Freedom of Information requests show a four-fold increase from 2012 to 2013 in court hearings related to such attacks.