An Analysis of a Purported Acetylene Balloon Accident Story (Part 1)
By Frank C. Earl,

I was sent a link to a story that was re-posted the TALON forum from a different forum that told a sad tale about a kid that was messing about with Acetylene Balloons apparently sometime this year.  Seeing some possible discrepancies with what I know about things in general, I thought I would give the whole thing a once-over and a writeup proper.  First, let's put forth the story and the original pics...


A kid in Lindsborg had filled several balloons with acetylene then was shooting them with roman candles. We heard them go off about every 30 minutes or so. Then during the Lindsborg fireworks display at the college we heard the ambulances racing over towards my house. On the way home we saw all of the firemen & police at a house behind Viking Motorcycle company. Later I learned that the kid was Loren Dauer, son of Ron & Mae Dauer. I guess he had about 3 or 4 balloons left in the backseat of the truck, and when he reached in to pull one of them out he slid it just enough to cause static & BOOOOOOM!!!!!! He spent a little time in ICU in Wichita, but is at home now. He blew out both eardrums, had to have a lot of shards of glass pulled from his torso, face, & eyeballs. His nephew was either in the truck or close enough by that it blew part of his face off & required 30 some stitches to get it back. You see the damage to the truck, but the garage it was by was moved partly off of its foundation, and the people sitting in their lawn chairs watching this activity were jolted several feet backwards out of their chairs. Why he is still alive I don't know. You probably will say that was freakin' stupid, but think back on how many times you've done stupid things & lived to tell about it. I hear he is doing as good as can be expected. I hope maybe we learned a lesson.
God Speed Loren!!

Sad story, don't you think?  Looks like it DID blow up on a cursory glance- but is a cursory glance enough to tell whether or not you're at least looking at the truck described in the story?  If you said "Yes," to that question, you'd be wrong.

Part 2