The Darwin Awards 

2001 Darwin News
The Dumb Tax?
The Unkindest Cut
Crystal Daze
Blown Away
Fifteen Minutes of Flame
Think Before You Leap
Killing Time
Library Return
Pig Jig
Sweet Release
Snowball's Chance in Hell
Fire Ants
Coke Is It!
Thirst for Death
Dodging Drink Dues
Path of Least Resistance
Fishing With No Compass
God Saves?
Jet Ski Spree
Scooter Snuff
Grenade Juggler
Ethanol Schmethanol
Slow Learner
Sheep Sleep
Precarious Perch
Bass Ackwards
Skeleton Key
Enraged Elephant
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2001 Darwin Awards
Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it. Next Prev Random

Killing Time  
2001 Darwin Award Winner
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(2001, Scotland) Electric trains in Glasgow collect power from the overhead cable, and transmit any excess through the rails to a solid copper cable that routes it to a power redistribution box.

Copper is a favorite target for thieves. One enterprising fellow with a good knowledge of the electrical system planned to cut the copper cable during the time between trains, when no electricity was travelling through it. His plan might have worked... but for one small flaw.

In the pocket of his charred overcoat, police found an out-of-date rail timetable. The train arrived ten minutes before he thought it would, sending hundreds of volts of electricity through the thief's hacksaw and into his body, and putting an untimely end to his career. © 1994 - 2017
Submitted by: Sam Daly

Plausible? You tell me!

Aodhan lives in Glasgow, and heard the story a bit differently. "My cousin works at the hospital where the post mortem was done. The man had been told that using a saw with a rubber grip would protect him from electricity..."

"This story contains an inaccuracy about electric railroads. The overhead catenary is like one prong of a plug, with the rails acting as the other prong. An electric train completes the circuit by drawing current from the overhead and the rails. Electricity is only 'returned' from trains when they are equipped with regenerative braking, which turns the electric locomotive into a generator when slowing the the train going downhill." -Henry

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