AJ Pritchard's girlfriend Abbie Quinnen needed 20 hospital visits and three skin grafts after fireball horror accident

AJ PRITCHARD'S girlfriend Abbie Quinnen needed a total of 20 hospital visits and three skin grafts after her horrific fireball accident.

The dancer was engulfed in fire when a online video stunt with her Strictly boyfriend went horribly wrong.

Abbie, 23, suffered third-degree burns and doctors fought to save her face and arms from severe scarring.

AJ sprung into action when a blazing wine bottle exploded in Abbie’s face, setting her hair and clothing alight.

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 said: “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.”

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.”

While Abbie now fears for the future of 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 on Sunday: “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.”

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.

The Sun exclusively revealed they were dating in 2018.

He was a pro dancer on four series of Strictly — pairing up with YouTuber Saffron Barker in 2019 before leaving the following March.

Last autumn AJ starred in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, at Gwrych Castle, North Wales — with Abbie there to support him.

Earlier last year The Sun on Sunday told how a hitman was offered £20,000 to kill Abbie.

The terrifying death threat had been issued when she and AJ were appearing in a Peter Pan pantomime together.

Abbie was warned a man on the “dark web” had been given a list of dates and places where she would be performing.

It sent her into a state of shock, and police advised her to beef up her personal security. Venues were also alerted during the subsequent AJ Live Tour, though the would-be killer was never tracked down.

Abbie has previously spoken about her hopes to walk down the aisle with AJ.

She said: “I definitely think he’s The One. We have spoken about weddings and kids. Fingers crossed it happens one day.

“Me and AJ work so hard on our bodies, making sure that we eat correctly, and we always work out together.”

During his I’m A Celebrity stint, Abbie said she had been “going crazy” without him.

She said he’d booked a UK break after the show ended, adding: “He’s so cute and very romantic. I got some gorgeous roses and candles.”

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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