A 'world's hottest chilli' competition at a curry restaurant left two people in hospital. Emergency services were called to Kismot Restaurant's curry-eating challenge, on St Leonards Place, Edinburgh, after competitors started writhing on the floor in agony, vomiting and fainting during the contest. One participant, Curie Kim was so ill after sampling the "Kismot Killer" that she had to be taken by ambulance to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary twice in a matter of hours. The Scottish Ambulance Service have said it wanted the restaurant to review the way the event was managed.
Paramedics attended the event on Saturday - the busiest day of the week for the ambulance service - costing the service several hundred pounds. Participants were required to sign a legal disclaimer prior to taking part in the competition, and two members of the British Red Cross were on hand, but they could not cope with the nature of the injuries sustained. Curry house owner Abdul Ali admitted that he would have to "tone down" the contest, but said the challenge had raised hundreds of pounds for charity CHAS. He added that half of the 20 people who took part in the challenge had dropped out after witnessing the first 10 diners vomiting, collapsing, sweating and panting.
Previously the restaurant's Kismot Killer dish has caused diners to suffer nose bleeds and one elderly man had to go to hospital. Curie, 21, a Korean exchange student at Edinburgh University, came second in the competition, but she admitted the accolade "came with a price". She said: "I've always enjoyed spicy foods and thought this was for a good cause. But it came with a price, I had to be taken to the ERI twice. I first went to hospital at around 4pm and the second time was at 9pm. It got really bad. I have never endured such pain in my life." Mr Ali said he felt the competition had gone well, but that he had overestimated how much heat the competitors could take.
Beverly Jones, from Newington, was crowned curry queen after she managed to finish nine spoonfuls of the chilli-filled dish. Mike Lavin, from Polwarth, came fifth, but he, too, had to be taken to the ERI. Local councillor Gordon Mackenzie branded the event a "shambles" and said: "The owners owe a debt to the ambulance service, and I hope they'll find some way of making it up to them." A spokesman for the ambulance service said: "We would urge the organisers to review the way in which this event is managed in future in order to avoid another situation where emergency ambulances are required to treat their customers."