Here are a few brilliant ones I collected off the website. Enjoy!
(13 January 2005, Croatia) One fateful afternoon, 55-year-old Marko retreated to his semi-detached workshop to make himself a tool for chimney cleaning. The chimney was too high for a simple broom to work, but if he could attach a brush to a chain and then weigh it down with something, that would do the trick. But what could he use as a weight?
He happened to have the perfect object. It was heavy, yet compact. And best of all, it was made of metal, so he could weld it to the chain. He must have somehow overlooked the fact that it was also a hand grenade and was filled with explosive material.
Marko turned on his welding apparatus and began to create an arc between the chain and the grenade. As the metal heated up, the grenade exploded. The force of the explosion killed poor Marko instantly, blasting shrapnel through the walls of the shed and shattering the windshield of a Mercedes parked outside. Marko’s chimney was untouched, however.
“Chim-chimeny, chim-chimeny, chim-chim-kaboom!”
Saw a Grenade
(July 2002) This story was told at a symposium dinner, by two Austrian pathologists who work together in Germany. A deceased male was brought to them for a post mortem. He had suffered severe head trauma. According to police reports, the man wanted to see how a German World War II
hand grenade was constructed. His curiosity led him to clamp the grenade in a vise, and cut a thin band around the center with a circular saw, so that he would be able to crack open the two halves. Unfortunately, the man cut a little too deep, and detonated the grenade. The pathologists stated that the man had very little brain material when he was brought to them; however, they were not sure if that was a result of the explosion!
Short Arm of the Law
(May 2002, Pakistan) Usually it's the criminal, not the judge, who attempts to take himself out of the gene pool. But not in this twist of a familiar tale! A man accused of possessing a hand grenade challenged police to produce it at his trial. When the police brought the grenade into the courtroom, the defendant claimed it was not real. The judge absentmindedly took the grenade in his hand while listening to arguments—and pulled the pin! He was injured, but survived, no doubt with improved judgment.
Electric Safety Lesson
All personnel stationed on an aircraft carrier are given safety lectures and demonstrations. In 1990, a First Class Petty Officer assigned to the mess deck was briefing new junior personnel on electrical safety. He showed them how to fill out a warning tag on circuits undergoing maintenance, and informed them that they were forbidden to work on the circuit until a second person had double-checked the tag and circuit. In a prime demonstration of why the rules were in place, he proceeded to open and grab a circuit that supposedly was de-energized, killing himself in front of 20 thunderstruck students.
(10 January 2007, East Germany) A 63-year-old man's extraordinary effort to eradicate moles from his property resulted in a victory for the moles. The man pounded several metal rods into the ground and connected them—not to household current, which would have been bad enough—but to a high-voltage power line, intending to render the subterranean realm uninhabitable.
Incidentally, the maneuver electrified the very ground on which he stood. He was found dead some time later, at his holiday property on the Baltic Sea. Police had to trip the main circuit breaker before venturing onto the property.
The precise date of the sexagenarian's demise could not be ascertained, but the electric bill may provide a clue.
Gun Safety Training
(28 February 2000, Texas) A Houston man earned a succinct lesson in gun safety when he played Russian roulette with a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. Rashaad, nineteen, was visiting friends when he announced his intention to play the deadly game. He apparently did not realize that a semiautomatic pistol, unlike a revolver, automatically inserts a cartridge into the firing chamber when the gun is cocked. His chance of winning a round of Russian roulette was zero, as he quickly discovered.
The Army’s a Blast
(6 May 2004, Ukraine) Piling up live artillery is grueling work, so it makes perfect sense that a group of soldiers would take a cigarette break at lunchtime. The warehouse was filled with 92,000 tons of ammunition -- until the soldiers lit up their ciggies and inhaled deeply, ignoring warnings that smoking can cause cancer. They flicked the butts away and went back to work. The glowing embers of the tobacco butts acted like slow fuses, which started a small fire that nobody noticed until it ignited a chain reaction of massive explosions.
The explosions lasted for a week, tossing debris as far as 25 miles away, destroying buildings in a two-mile radius, and forcing the evacuation of thousands of nearby residents. Red-hot shrapnel set off additional fires in nearby towns and ruptured a minor gas pipeline. Total damage from the smoke break was estimated at $750 million.
Miraculously, only one of the soldiers at the arsenal died in the disaster. Six soldiers were charged with "grossly neglecting the fire safety rules and smoking on the ammunition site."
Wounded Wire Bites Back
(14 February 2002, Pennsylvania) Daniel and his friend were practicing their marksmanship by shooting at targets in a farm field. But instead of the usual choices of mice, bottles, or birds, they selected a more worthy adversary: electrical insulators.
These pear-shaped glass or plastic devices are intended to hold electrical wires aloft. But after the men shot six insulators off two utility poles, the shattered targets were no longer up to the job. A high-voltage wire fell to the ground and Daniel, attempting to prevent a serious fire, seized the sizzling wire in his hand, and was electrocuted.
An Allegheny Power spokesman advised people not to shoot at electrical insulators.