The Darwin Awards

2000 At-Risk Survivor

Next Prev Random At-Risk Survivors have misadventures that stop short of the ultimate sacrifice. Nevertheless we salute the spirit of their colossal blunders with an Honorable Mention. Better luck next time!

Petrol Stockpile
2000 At-Risk Survivor
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(November 2000, England) Members of a Norfolk family were lucky to escape with their skins intact when 90 gallons of petrol stored in their garage unexpectedly ignited. What led to the explosion?

It turns out that these candidates for Least Intelligent Lifeform of the Universe had decided to stockpile petrol in readiness for potential fuel blockades. They purchased large water storage cans and began collecting fuel. But the seals on water cans are not suitable for corrosive materials.

The cans leaked, and flammable fumes filled the family garage -- which also contained the house's central heating boiler. When the temperature in the house dropped, the boiler switched on, igniting the fumes and creating a petrol fireball big enough to satisfy a Hollywood director. Although nobody actually died, the family wins an At-Risk Survivor for their disastrous ingenuity.

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Submitted by: Mark Greenhalgh

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