Monday, August 24, 2015

Boom Goes The Dynamite

Hold your right hand up in front of your face, palm toward you. You have four fingers kind of sticking straight up, and one thumb sticking out to the right at maybe 45 degrees, right? That's your frame of reference.

One day - I forget exactly what I was doing at the time - I was out of my squad car when I heard this very loud boom. It seemed like it was quite some distance away, but loud nonetheless. I wondered for a second what it could be, then didn't think much more about it.

About 5 minutes later I get dispatched to a boat landing on the river, a good 3 miles from where I am. When I roll up, there's a teenage boy standing there holding up his right hand. He had four fingers kind of sticking straight up, just like your frame of reference. He also had one thumb. But unlike your frame of reference, it was pointing straight down at the ground, with the thumbnail side up against his forearm. All that meat between the thumb and fingers was gone.

He had been holding a homemade firework of some description, and it had gone off in his hand. The explosion had essentially ripped through the web of his hand and down through the meaty part of the palm, all the way to the wrist. The thumb was dangling there by a thin strip of skin.

The kid looked relatively calm. He held this mangled mess up in front of me and actually asked, "Do you think they can fix this?" I doubt it, son. I doubt it.

1 comment:

lbparker said...

Sounds like he was planning to light it and throw it in the water. Fuse burned MUCH faster than he anticipated. Safety was apparently not a consideration. He's lucky he didn't kill himself. This is why the professionals test the burning time on their fuses before using them.