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Tunnel fire breathing prankster arrested by police

A teenage motorist has been arrested by traffic police in Austria for using a busy Alpine tunnel as a practice place - for fire-breathing.

"The consequences of this stupid act could have been horrendous," said police spokesman Niklas Kohl after they doused his act inside the Bindermichltunnel on the A7 motorway in Linz with the rulebook.

He added: "He could have set the car on fire, he could have set himself on fire, his car could have been run into by another vehicle. Of all the places I can think of to stop, this would probably be high on the 'most inappropriate' list."

The 19-year-old currently doing his compulsory military service in the Austrian army, had apparently ran out of petrol part of his way through the tunnel. But CCTV cameras mounted on the tunnel walls show him taking a reserve cannister from the boot.

And before pouring it into the car he poured it into his mouth instead - and then began shooting flames six feet into the air.

Inspector Kohl added: "For some reason, instead of putting the fuel in the car's petrol tank straight away, he started taking sips and acting as if he was in the circus as a fire breather. The potentially deadly activity was observed on the tunnels cameras by motorway staff who called police."

By the time the police arrived the man had moved on but he was caught several miles later after pulling onto the busy A1 Westautobahn in the town of Haid. Police there became suspicious that the suspect was high on drugs and a police doctor called to examine him later confirmed this.

Cannabis plants and a quantity of drug taking paraphernalia were also found in his car.

The teenager told police in a statement: "I don't like being in the army. I would much rather be a fire-breather for a living. It's a great way to relieve stress.

He faces a variety of road safety violation charges that could see him banned for driving for three years.

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