Exploding Chewing Gum Kills Student

mrpoultice

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#1
One of those wtf stories

Exploding Chewing Gum Blows Off Student's Jaw
9:39am UK, Wednesday December 09, 2009

Huw Borland, Sky News Online

A chemistry student has been found dead with his jaw blown off by what is believed to be exploding chewing gum, reports have said.

Student may have dipped his gum in an explosive substance

The 25-year-old's disfigured remains were discovered at his parent's home in the northern Ukrainian city of Konotop, reports in the Eastern European country said.

The young man, who studied at Kiev Polytechnic Institute, was working at a computer late on Saturday when the alleged explosion happened.

"A loud pop was heard from the student's room," the ukranews.com website said, citing an aide to the city's police chief.

"When his relatives entered the room, they saw that the lower part of the young man's face had been blown off."

A forensic examination established that the chewing gum was covered with an unidentified chemical substance, thought to be some type of explosive material.

The student apparently had a bizarre habit of chewing gum after dipping it into citric acid, Russian news agency Ria Novosti said.

Officers found both citric acid packets and a similar-looking unidentified substance, believed to be some kind of explosive material, on a table near the body, the agency continued.

Investigators suspect that the student simply confused the packets and put gum covered with explosive material into his mouth.

Forensic experts were to travel from Kiev to investigate the substance, as local authorities feared it may explode if transported.
Source: Sky News
Mr P
 

Timble2

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#4
Reminds me of the stories about people eatings Space Dust (that stuff that fizzed in your mouth), drinking a bottle of coke and then their stomachs exploding...
 

poozler

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#6
...also reminds me of the old PopRocks UL (here: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/poprocks.asp)

Also, I am curious: I don't know much (well, anything really) about chemistry, but how does eating an explosive substance make it explode? Don't you need a detonator of some kind? I am interested in REAL answers, by the way. Of course, anything vaguely amusing is also welcome.

I do feel sorry for the poor guy and the people who had to find him, though. Yuck.
 
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#7
Nitrogylcerine? Or, was it TNT?

When I was at school, I knew someone who used to make that sort of stuff in chemistry class and feed it to the local rat population, in bait.

Bang!

Certainly beat rat traps.
 

Timble2

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#8
It's more likely to have been nitroglycerine, it's easier to make and very unstable, hench ideal for blowing up rats.

Perhaps the victim thought that because nitroglycerine is used in anti-anginal drugs, you could get a buzz out of it like amyl nitrate...
 

OneWingedBird

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#9
citric acid might do the trick if you were making trinitroacetone (or is it acetone trinitrate), iirc some Al Qieda noodleheads were caught trying to use lucozade as the acid as a way of getting the source materials to make explosives onto aircraft.

also reputed to be incredibly unstable, it can go off with a small shock, or just because. :(
 
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