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A fourteen-year-old boy was killed after the chair he was sitting on exploded, propelling sharp chair parts into his rectum, causing extensive bleeding, which he succumbed to before medical attention could stem the flow.
The accident occurred when the boy was alone, sitting on the chair (which was for PC use); he managed to overcome the pain and call his father, who summoned an ambulance, but it took an hour to get him to hospital, by which time it was too late for him.
The chair in question was a standard gas cylinder type, where the height is regulated by an adjustable cylinder containing highly pressurized gas, and it was this which exploded, sending high velocity chair parts into the posterior of the unfortunate youth.
In fact, it seems a spate of such incidents were reported at the hospital – 3 such injuries caused by exploding chairs were reported this month, perhaps indicating an influx of poorly manufactured chairs into the area. In 2007 a similar accident also propelled a 20cm part into the rear of a 68-year-old man, who suffered a severe 5cm wound; he survived.
We do not hear where the chair parts in question were made, though of course with the accident occurring in China it is likely there that they were made.
Three factors are implicated in such accidents:
1. The gas in the cylinder is contaminated with gases other than nitrogen.
2. The materials used in the cylinder are deficient, reducing the durability of the part.
3. The cylinder is not completely airtight.
Oil based hydraulic devices are said to be safer, but most such chairs on the market today use gas cylinders; naturally these tend to be made in China, where this accident occurred.
The boy in question weighed 80kg (certainly a fair amount for a 14-year-old Asian youth), which might have been a factor (though this will not reassure heavier framed non-Asian adults); it is suggested that using such chairs without placing excessive pressure on the cylinder is advisable – otherwise sitting on a steel plate might help.