Girl, 14, allegedly killed by explosion caused by DIY popcorn maker crafted by following Ms Yeah cooking tutorial


Ashley Tan| September 15, 04:48 AM

A Chinese girl died on Sept. 5, 2019 after following a viral YouTube tutorial on how to make homemade popcorn.

DIY apparatus exploded resulting in severe burns

On Aug. 22, 2019, 14-year-old Zhou and 13-year-old Peng from China, were allegedly following an online tutorial on how to make their own popcorn when it tragically backfired.

The apparatus they had constructed had reportedly exploded suddenly, when Zhou tried to light an alcohol burner to cook the popcorn.

This was likely due to the high alcohol content in the burner, according to Weibo.

It is uncertain if the girls followed the tutorial completely, or had made modifications.

The video on Weibo showed the charred remains of several empty soda cans, which the girls had likely been using to cook the popcorn kernels in.

One of the cans even contained the remains of the uncooked popcorn still inside.

Screenshot from Weibo

Screenshot from Weibo

Both girls suffered severe burns and were immediately taken to the hospital.

Peng suffered burns to 13 percent of her body, and was last reported to be in stable condition.

Screenshot from Weibo

Unfortunately, Zhou suffered burns to 96 percent of her body. 

The burns on the girl's face were so bad, that her father stated that he had trouble recognising her.

She died two weeks after the incident occurred.

Screenshot from Weibo

Screenshot from Weibo

Allegedly following internet celebrity's cooking tutorial

The girls were believed to have been following an online tutorial by famous Chinese office lady and DIY expert Ms Yeah.

The Ms Yeah video was not completely instructional, but it showed the making of homemade popcorn with a soda can.

In the video, Ms Yeah constructs her own handmade contraption by propping up an empty soda can on top of a tripod stand.

She then places the popcorn kernels inside the soda can and lights a flame on an alcohol burner below, and waits for the popcorn to pop.

Ms Yeah, whose real surname is Ye, is known for her video tutorials teaching audiences how to make everyday foods in unconventional settings, using non-cooking utensils.

She currently has 4.8 million followers on Facebook, with the popcorn tutorial in particular amassing 1.4 million views and 3,200 shares.

Her videos are often filmed at her desk in her office, where she uses a variety of tools such as a soda can, iron or computer parts to cook meals such as grilled beef and pancakes.

You can watch the full video here:

Ms Yeah apologises

After the incident, many Chinese netizens allegedly directed their anger at Ms Yeah, calling her a "murderer", reported AsiaOne.

The 25-year-old then apologised on Sept. 10, in a long letter posted to Weibo.

She allegedly promised to take responsibility for Peng's medical treatments, and said she would help the girl in any way she can.

However, Ms Yeah also asserted that the girls had likely been following another video tutorial, contrary to what netizens believed.

She emphasised that in her video, she used a teapot warmer to slowly heat up the popcorn.

Additionally, the two charred soda cans found at the scene were cut in a peculiar way different from how she cut hers.

She then suggested that there were other homemade popcorn tutorials out there that the girls could have been following.

She ended off her letter by asking netizens not to call others a murderer.

Top photo from Weibo and Ms Yeah / FB