Office chair explodes, kills boy

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A 14-year-old boy from Jiaozhou in China died of blood loss after the gas canister inside his chair exploded, sending shrapnel into his bottom. The gas is used to operate the hydraulic pillar that raises and lowers seats, but poorly-constructed office chairs have caused similar injuries before, according to China Voice.

Source [China Voice via Livedoor via Anorak via The Daily What via Gizmodo via Geekologie]

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Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
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22 Responses to Office chair explodes, kills boy

  1. thumbsucker29 says:

    Oh, the lengths some people will go to just to cover up a massive, chair-rending fart.

  2. voiceofreason says:

    Can you say Urban Legend?

    The physics of it are just not possible.

    Sure if you released the gas cylinder it would go flying. Dent the concrete, not so possible. Just not enough energy in that cylinder.

    If you were right on top of it it would not have the chance to get up enough speed to do any damage. It would just move the inch or two, bump up against your butt and stop.

    If you had your face about 2-3 feet above it, and you released the gas cylinder, you might do some damage, short of that…

  3. midknyte says:

    Take it with a grain of salt till the deet’s come out.

    ref – recent exploding cell phone story

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/10/exploding-cellphone-battery-that-killed-chinese-man-was-actually/

  4. strider_mt2k says:

    Urban legend you know it.

    Everyone knows Chinese boys don’t exist.

  5. snackcake says:

    note from my brother, an engineer, who used to work for a company that made gas-charged springs:

    “Could be true I guess. Seems like it’s probably a cheap Chinese made product and not the good stuff that we use here. This type of cylinder is (was?) made by [redacted] in Mexico since it cost too much to do it in [redacted]. They would probably design chairs with a thick metal plate where the cylinder meets the bottom of the chair in case of a breach. On the car springs, they pressurize the spring, push the seals in place and roll the end over to keep things in place. On occasion, the roll would be bad and the whole thing would shoot out like a rocket – sticking the rod in the ceiling or once shooting all the way across the plant. No injuries from what I remember. This kind of thing only happened once during the 3 years I worked there.”

  6. ToreUs says:

    @mastercontroller:

    No toilet is truly safe:

    http://www.mysoresamachar.com/seattle.htm

    (no gas or cigarettes involved)

  7. mastercontroller says:

    This is why I do all my computing from the safety of a toilet seat.

    Nothing but perfectly safe water under my tender bits.

    Why else have a laptop if not to use it on the crapper?

  8. Anonymous says:

    A boy is dead and all you people can do is make stale jokes.

  9. dell gx620 says:

    you are right BOB.

  10. SkullHyphy says:

    Meanwhile I’m sitting on a metal-framed wicker chair. Every fifth time I sit I hear another strand snap. It’s just a matter of time until I fall through the metal frame and suffocate while my trunk is compressed against my thighs.

  11. nehpetsE says:

    Big american bottom stop canister!
    Chinese bottom too small!

  12. Bob says:

    Wow, thats pretty messed up!

  13. Trnck says:

    This news make my bottom itches, as I’m now sitting on an office chair.

  14. matt-holmes says:

    Wow, I would never want to buy office chairs like that. I wonder if the factory that built the chairs has recalled any, or if they are still producing them.

  15. AirPillo says:

    Where’s the blood in the photo?

    Do you really think things explode and cause people to bleed to death without leaving any blood on their surroundings?

  16. trialex says:

    Died of blood loss hey? I can understand that most of the bleeding would occur later or somewhere else, but I’m sure there would be SOME blood on the seat…

  17. Bob Doles Communist Doppelganger says:

    There’s a very insightful comment on the (translated) source page that I think really sums up the whole problem:

    If women 及BIMASEN thought in misery. In ancient times, NHK to the “bread Britney” It is said the woman was called. Meaning no pants tin man, tin is so insecure in the news, and I need something hard on the seat.

    The article was also in China and the destructive power than a grenade. I think it is

    Can anybody really argue with that?

  18. Anonymous says:

    after reading this article I am now frozen in fear,damn cheap hydrolic chair!!!can’t move or chair will exploded.NOOOOO
    *faint*

    …just more proof when its your time it’s your time, in the END…

  19. Jesus Garcia says:

    His family made the chair wrong

  20. AidanH says:

    I saw a similar thing happen many years ago to a colleague. His seat came off the chair’s base and he toppled to the ground in a very comical way. Less comically however, the metal plunger shot out, hit the (high) concrete ceiling, bounced down to the floor and then back up to a height of 4 or 5 feet.

    The dent in the concrete ceiling and the damaged carpet tiles showed that he had been extremely lucky to have been missed twice.

    Having seen that I can believe that cheap office chairs can be very unsafe. Alan certainly never leant back on a chair again.

  21. dculberson says:

    Right now my butt is glad that I have a designer chair with a screw height adjustment.

  22. brante says:

    This is why Mom tells you not to horse around in her office…

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