Death is an unfortunate inevitability for us all, but one must admit that some ways are worse to go than others, and some are just plain embarrassing. Today, we salute a few unlucky souls who had the misfortune of shedding their mortal coil in ways so unusual that the world could not help but notice.
#1: Lottery Agent Buried Alive Digging For Pot of Gold
Indian lottery agent Pravin Kuse had a dream that there was a pot of gold beneath an abandoned 100-year-old house that he owned. He warned his mother not to tell anyone about it for fear that whomever she told would get to his gold first.
Kuse would head to the old house after lunch every day and dig beneath the stairs. He dug with the aid of a toy car with a flashlight attached to it; this was especially useful when the hole reached its maximum depth of 15 feet. Unluckily for Kuse, 15 feet is the same depth that the soil beneath his house became moist due to its proximity to the sea. The hole collapsed with him in it and his body was recovered found soon after.
Moral: Just because you dream of a pot of gold doesn’t mean it’s there and if you must dig for it, at least have the good sense to build some sort of structural support into the hole.
#2: Math Teacher Crushed To Death By Garbage Compactor
For Scott Williams, a well liked math teacher, a nap in a dumpster after a pub crawl proved fatal. He was picked up by a garbage truck doing the rounds the next morning and compacted along with the trash. Check out the full story here.
Moral: If you are too drunk to walk home, take a cab. It might be a more expensive form of transportation but more often than not it will get you home alive and a nice warm bed is better than a dumpster any day of the week.
Spiritual Healer Drops Candle Into Alcohol Bath (double near miss)
Twenty-eight-year-old Puerto Rican Stephanie Rodriguez Pizarro suffered second-degree burns to half her body when her spiritual healer accidentally dropped a candle into a bath of alcohol in which she was bathing.
The healer in question, 46-year-old Jose Cadiz Tapia was also hospitalized with burns to his arms and torso, suffered in trying to help Pizarro.
Moral: Alcohol is a deadly, flammable poison that you shouldn’t be bathing in anyway, but if you do make sure there are no naked flames in your vicinity.
[Red Deer Advocate]
#3, 4: Group Run Down While Brawling On Road (plus double near miss)
According to police in Pence Springs, West Virginia, 49-year-old Philip Ormsbee, 24-year-old Thomas Biggs, 30-year-old Tedrina Spinks and a fourth person, Jennifer Carter pulled over to the side of the road after an argument broke out and began brawling. A car struck the group killing Ormsby and Biggs.
Moral: If you absolutely must get it on with your buddies by the side of the road, then hazard lights, road cones and if you have them, flares, would be a good way to warn approaching cars that there is a redneck fight club session in progress. That way they can slow down and take pictures instead of plowing through the melee.
[West Virginia Gazette]
#5: Death By Chocolate
A 29-year-old worker, Vincent Smith II, was killed at a chocolate factory run by Lyons & Sons when he fell from a platform into an eight-foot deep vat of molten chocolate. It is believed that he was killed from being struck on the head by the automatic stirrer.
Smith had been emptying raw chocolate into the vat, when he apparently overbalanced and fell.
Moral: Workplace accidents can happen anywhere and anytime, but they can be minimized by following occupational health and safety guidelines, something your company is more likely to have if they are properly licensed (this one wasn’t).