(1993, Ontario, Canada) After I borrowed a welding torch and used it cut
up an old water tank on my family's property, I found myself with leftover
partial bottles of oxygen and acetylene. It seemed wrong to waste all that
gas, particularly since I had heard about fuel-oxygen explosives, and had
always wanted to test the concept.
I extinguished the torch by setting it to the "leanest" possible burn,
and snuffing it by smacking the tip against a flat surface. I then filled
a large plastic garbage bag (13 gallons) with oxygen and acetylene from the
torch, and inserted a 6" visco cannon fuse.
I placed the homemade explosive on a big rock by the river. I remember lighting the
fuse, and I remember backing away as it began to burn. The next thing I
knew, I returned to consciousness in the river!
Both of my eardrums were broken, and I was bleeding from both ears and
my nose. My beard and exposed hair were singed and curly, but oddly, there
were no burns on my skin. I later discovered a perfect image of the folds,
seams and buttons of the cotton shirt I was wearing, imprinted as bruises
on my chest and arms. It took months for my eardrums to heal, and I still
can't hear high frequencies well.
What happened? Perhaps a spark from the fuse touched the bag. Perhaps
the bag had a small leak. Whatever the cause, I'm lucky to be alive. At the
emergency room, the workers said, "When we get a welder here, he usually
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