IJMC Going Out With a Bang

                  IJMC - Going Out With a Bang

The number of coincidences between my life and this list is becoming far 
too large. I was simply thinking that a post about a large bomb or 
something like that would be quite appropriate for today. What rises to 
the top of the queue? Read on and weep. Not even my normal type of post, 
although as I remember every year or so, this is a _Junk_ mail 
clearinghouse, not just another humor list. Take care, I am outta here 
and off to bed.                                                    -dave


On 25 July 1935 at Waverley, Nova Scotia, where a disused explosive factory
was being made safe by firing small charges of explosive on the sites of
old buildings and drainage ditches where nitroglycerine might have been
present. Four shots had been fired on the shore of a lake and no evidence
of nitroglycerine was observed. It was decided, however, to fire another
shot near the lake where there was evidence that nitroglycerine might have
flowed from a building which has last been in use prior to 1910. A
detonation occurred leaving a crater 45 m long, 15 m wide and 8 meter deep.
It was estimated that about 8000 kg of nitroglycerine must have been
present in the ground.
Frictional ignition can also arise in circumstances outside the field of
manufacturing processes. Spilled explosive can be subjected to friction
during the course of transport or handling. Ignition can also occur in
totally unexpected circumstances, as when a man playing tennis on a hard
court suddenly found his leg enveloped in flames. Investigation showed that
the court had been recently treated with sodium chlorate for weed killing
purposes and that his rubber soled tennis shoe had provided not only the
fuel to produce an explosive mixture with the chlorate but also the
friction required to ignite it.
Finally, there is the case of explosives scientist who fabricated an ash
tray from cast TNT and kept it on his office desk for the use of visitors,
only revealing its nature after they had extinguished a cigarette in it
with no untoward results.
An unusual explosion of this type occurred (1931) in a hospital operating
theater where a man was being give an anaesthetic of ether and oxygen and a
pencil light was being used to see inside his throat. There was an
explosion in the man's mouth and he died from his injuries. The light was
defective and a spark from it initiated the explosive ether/oxygen mixture.
In 1922 in New York, a device for the disposal of unwanted cats was wrecked
by an explosion. The cats were dropped into an iron tank containing a
lethal coal gas/air mixture. On one particular day a fourth batch of cats
included a particularly fierce black male who clung to the basket in which
he had been brought. This built up static electrical charge on his body so
that, when he was eventually dislodged and fell through the opening to the
tank, a spark ignited the explosive mixture remaining in it. There was an
explosion and people from the office rushed in to find the three
executioners on the floor. Two were sent to hospital, one with a possibly
fractured skull, and all were more or less burned and lacerated.
A less then usual instance occurred (1935) in a building on a fireworks
factory. A fire started in the evening after the factory was closed. It was
established that spontaneous ignition had occurred in the roof of the
building. The building was very old and in the roof there was a collection
of birds' nests impregnated with explosives dust. On the day previously
there had been heave rain followed by great heat. Such condition are
favorable for causing spontaneous heating and hence, where explosive is
present, explosion.
A box of gunpowder was (1894) situated near the entrance to a circus at St.
Giles les Brucelles, Belgium. The gunpowder exploded and set fire to the
clothing of a woman acting as money taker. In the confusion a child fell
close to a cage containing some bears, and was pulled in and torn to pieces.
In 1953 a boy was filling a small metal tube with a potassium chlorate
sulphur mixture when it exploded, resulting in lacerations to his left
hand. Arrangements were made for the police to caution him while a parent
was present. Unfortunately he paid little attention to the warning and,
some months later, assisted another boy to tamp a piece of metal pipe with
a mixture of potassium chlorate, sulphur and phosphorus. A piece of metal
as being used to fill the tube when the mixture exploded. The boy was so
seriously injured that he died some time later.
In 1956 a boy aged 14 was making a bomb with potassium chlorate and
sulphur. It exploded and caused such severe injuries to his hand that this
had to be amputated. The police removed the chemicals he had been using.
The boy's father, however, requested their return so as to enable his son
to continue his experiments when he came out of hospital.
In 1910 an employee at an explosives factory in the United States was
lighting a cigar when an explosion occurred. The explosion stripped his
index finger and thumb of flesh. This was apparently due to the presence of
nitroglycerine under the nails of the finger and thumb.
A violent explosion took place in an exhaust duct from a laboratory hood in
which perchloric acid solution was being fumed over a gas plate. It blew
out windows, bulged the exterior walls, lifted the roof, and extensively
damaged equipment and supplies. Some time prior to the explosion, the hood
had been used for the analysis of miscellaneous materials. The explosion
apparently originated in deposits of perchloric acid and organic material
in the hood and duct.
A stone table of a fume hood was patched with a glycerin cement and several
years latter, when the hood was being removed, the table exploded when a
workman struck the stone with a chisel.
During routine maintenance involving partial dismantling of the exhaust
blower on a perchloric acid ventilating system, a detonation followed a
light blow with a hammer on a chisel held against the fan at or near the
seal between the rear cover plate and the fan casing. The intensity of the
explosion was such that is was heard four miles away and of the three
employees in the vicinity, one sustained face laceration and slight eye
injury; the second suffered loss of four fingers on one hand and possible
loss of sight in one eye; the third was fatally injured with the 6 in.
chisel entering below his left nostril and embedded in the brain.

==========      Ernie's House of Whoop Ass       =========
==============  Nemo me impune lacessit! =================

I claim no authoring or copyright protection with any of these postings
sent out on my humor list, as I only collect and distribute them. Any
original material written by me in this posting is not copyrighted and you
can do whatever the flying fuck you want with it.

IJMC September 1999 Archives