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1999 Personal Accounts
The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes deceased) readers. Next


What a Gas! 
1999 Personal Account

(July 1999) Maybe it's time to start beefing up those Driver Education classes offered in American high schools. This story is about a man who was unfamiliar with one of the basic principles of locomotion: gasoline is flammable.

This young man, somewhere in rural America, was having trouble starting his car one icy winter day. He checked the fuel system and discovered that the carburetor was clogged with a condensate of frozen water particles.

He figured that the best way to solve this problem was to heat a quantity of fuel in a tin bucket on his kitchen stove, then pour the piping hot gasoline into the gas tank to thaw the system. Needless to say, since the flash point of gasoline is 65 degrees Celsius, the gasoline was quickly set ablaze and the fire spread throughout the kitchen.

The man was torched, but survived after treatment for severe burns. This story was REALLY reported on the Tonight Show, I swear! But since it was as long ago as 1993, I don't remember 100% of the details. © 1994 - 2012

Reference: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC
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