Tuesday in Brazil, a workman trying to free scrap metal from a rocket propelled grenade managed to kill himself, wound a colleague, and destroy his workshop. The explosion apparently was the result of using a sledgehammer (yes, he was beating on an item intended to a) propel itself at high speed toward a target and b) explode) to break open the shell.
Garden variety rocket propelled grenade
Garden variety hand propelled grenade
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this sort of accident has happened with live ammunition. The Darwin Awards, the ultimate recognition for mankind’s varied and stupid ways to thin the gene pool, has many different stories. The one that leapt out at me was the gentleman who intended to use a live grenade as a weight for a chimney cleaning scheme and attempted to weld the grenade to another piece of metal with predictable and spectacular results.
Gallows humor aside, this is a sad state of affairs when economics make it worthwhile to risk one’s life for a bit of scrap metal.
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