The Darwin Awards

2004 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!

Kills Bugs Dead
2004 At-Risk Survivor WINNER
Confirmed True by Darwin

(29 April 2004, Brushy Fork, West Virginia) Alfred, 63, had trouble with termites at home. He had heard that natural gas was dangerous, and figured it would be a good, low-cost way to fumigate his house. So he shut the doors and windows, turned on the gas, and spent the night in a nearby camper trailer with his wife. The next morning he stepped out of the trailer, took a breath of the crisp, cool air, and strode over to his house.

When he opened the door, the slight spark from the latch ignited the cloud of natural gas that had accumulated in his home. The force of the explosion blew him off the porch and into a nearby creek, knocked out the town's telephones and electricity, and blew the doors off a church. It rattled windows and nerves six miles away.

Alfred was evacuated by helicopter with severe burns to the burn unit at the Cabell-Huntington Hospital. His house was uninsured. It is presumed that the fumigation was effective.

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Reference: West Virginia Metro News

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