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'World's largest' ice pop melts, floods park in New York City

Thursday, June 23, 2005

NEW YORK -- An attempt to raise the world's largest ice pop in a city square ended with a scene straight out of a disaster film -- but much stickier.

The 25-foot-tall, 17 1/2-ton treat of frozen Snapple juice melted faster than expected Tuesday, flooding Union Square in downtown Manhattan with kiwi-strawberry-flavored fluid that sent pedestrians scurrying for higher ground.

Firefighters closed off several streets and used hoses to wash away the sugary goo. Some passers-by slipped in the puddles, but no serious injuries were reported.

Snapple had been trying to promote a new line of frozen treats by setting a record for the world's largest ice pop, but called off the stunt before it was pulled fully upright by a construction crane. Officials said they were worried the thing would collapse in the 80-degree, first-day-of-summer heat.

"We planned for this. ... We just didn't expect for it to happen so fast," said Snapple spokeswoman Lauren Radcliffe. She said the company would offer to pay the city for the cleanup costs.

The giant ice pop was supposed to have been able to withstand the heat for some time, and organizers weren't sure why it didn't. It had been made in Edison, N.J., and hauled to New York by freezer truck in the morning.

"My theory is that it was a combination of the heat ... and it may not have been frozen all the way through," Radcliffe said.

She said the company was unlikely to make a second attempt to break the record, set by a 21-foot ice pop in Holland in 1997.


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