A fourteen-year old boy in China was killed when a chair he was sitting in exploded. Chunks of metal pierced the boy’s rectum resulting in extensive and fatal bleeding.
This is not the first time such a thing has happened, but it is the first fatality.
The boy was alone when the accident occurred, sitting on his computer chair. Bravely, he managed to make one last phone call to his father despite being in horrific pain. An ambulance was immediately summoned, but it took an hour to get him to the hospital and he died enroute.
The “killer chair” was a common gas-cylinder-based chair the height of which can be altered via a cylinder located at the base of the chair, which contains highly pressurized gas.
Allegedly, energy created by the seat cushion caused the explosion.
The fact that three similar incidents were reported at a hospital in the last month alone, suggests an influx of malfunctioning chairs. Back in 2007, such a chair propelled a metal part into the rear of a 68-year-old man, who suffered a severe wound but survived.
In all of the incidents three factors were implicated:
• Non-nitrogenous gases contaminated the cylinder of the chair.
• Deficient materials in the cylinder reduced the durability of the part.
• The cylinder was not completely airtight.
Although oil-based hydraulic devices are said to be safer, most such chairs on the market today use gas cylinders and the majority of them come from China.
So all you computer workers with adjustable height chairs better watch your butt…